In a world of diets and quick-fix weight loss methods, the simple concept of paying close attention to your current eating habits can feel frivolous. It may even feel like a pointless act.
Because it doesn’t imply immediate gratification, like most of the solutions we’re presented with.
Solving your eating habits can only be done by learning to pay attention to your eating habits now.
Without any judgment or expectation.
This is the most simple and underrated practice that will allow you to become a true expert of your eating habits now. It’s how you find all of the answers within yourself.
In today’s episode, I’m teaching you exactly how to start paying attention with food, so you can begin solving your eating habits long-term.
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Hello there, friend. How are you doing? Welcome back to the podcast this week. I’m feeling so good. The world around here is opening back up a bit, now that the pandemic has calmed down. And this past weekend we spent a day at the beach with our dog, Gus. And sometimes you just need a dog to remind you how amazing and fun little things in the world are. As soon as he sees the ocean, he gets so excited. And he’s a smaller dog so it’s really funny to see him try and run in the sand. It’s just his favorite thing in the world. Now, I’m trying to get him more comfortable with the water, but that’s where the fun usually ends for him. He’s not the biggest fan of swimming. He can swim, he’s just not the biggest fan of it. But we had such a wonderful day. And I highly recommend, if you’ve been finding yourself spending a lot of time inside, just take a day, or even an hour to walk around in the fresh air. It makes a world of difference. And before we get started on today’s topic, I would like to ask you, if you’re enjoying this podcast, which I really hope that you are, that you take a couple of minutes of your day and just write a review. I read every single one and I love to read about what’s resonating with you, how this podcast has been helpful to you, and why you’re enjoying it. To be honest, hearing how this podcast helps you is what fuels me to keep creating these episodes. It reminds me that there’s real humans, like you, that are listening to these episodes. And it’s really also my way to connect with you all. So, I would love to hear how this podcast is helping you. I am so grateful for every review I get and for the fact that you’re listening. I know it’s not always easy to make the time to write a review, right? We’ve got busy schedules, you’ve got places to go, so trust me, if you take that time to write a review for this podcast, I do not take it lightly. It just gives me that spark to keep on going. So thank you. Now, let’s move into today’s episode topic. Which is paying attention. And the concept of paying attention can seem very generic and simple. Like, we’ve heard it before and there really isn’t much to it. But the simple act of continuously paying attention to your eating habits is, by far, the most underrated and life-changing practice that will naturally lead to healthier eating habits. One hundred, million, bajillion percent. I cannot tell you enough. And I can pretty boldly say that most people are not paying attention to their eating habits in the slightest. This isn’t anyone’s fault, really. It’s just because we’re not taught to pay any attention to our eating habits. We’re not taught this during our childhood, we’re not taught it growing up, and it’s not something that’s normalized in adulthood. Everything in our modern-day lives is based around convenience. Solving any problem is based on instant-gratification and how we can solve a problem in the least amount of time. Which is really obvious when we think about it. Everything is based on convenience. I can order something off Amazon Prime and have it here tomorrow. Actually, I was just talking to my Mom on the phone and she also lives in Florida a couple of hours away from me. And she said that she lives so close to an Amazon shipping facility that she can order something on Amazon Prime and she can get it delivered the same day. Meaning, she can pretty much think of something she wants to purchase and then have it hand delivered to her on the same day. So crazy the times we live in! And in many ways, it’s amazing. I for one am a massive fan of convenience. I am the type of person who gets way more excited when I’m gifted practical items like some type of organizer or cleaner for the house or something to make my workday run more smoothly. I’m a massive fan of convenience. But, the thing is, this mindset of wanting everything to be quick and convenient, where we expect better results in less time, does not serve our eating habits. And it never, ever will. Because your eating habits are reflective of what your body is needing at any given moment. And in order to solve for your eating habits, and change your eating habits in the future, you will need to be intentionally and continuously listening to your body. And this is not a process that can be rushed. There is no Amazon Prime for perfect healthy eating habits. There is no quick-fix for solving the way you eat. It has to be done through a continuous process of exploration and paying attention. And here’s how you’ll know that you’re not paying attention when it comes to food or when it comes to the way you eat. You will feel helpless to your eating habits. So, I remember for me, I would constantly wonder why I was eating a certain way. If you asked me, “Why do you feel out of control with food? What’s going on?”, I would legitimately say, “I have no idea. I don’t know what’s going on. I feel totally out of control.” And this is actually where many of my clients start when they come to me. Before I accept new clients I speak to them on a consultation to see if they’re a good fit. I ask them questions to see if my program is right for their goals and where they’re at with their eating habits. And much of the time, potential clients will answer my questions with, “I don’t really know exactly what my eating struggles are” or “I don’t know what’s happening with food”. And, let me just clarify, this is not a problem. This is why they are there, right? My job as the coach is to point out any blind spots and dig for those answers so I can show them exactly what’s missing. So, as the coach, I’m never worried about a client who comes to me not knowing the answers. That can be expected. I used to be in that same place as well. But, know that if you have no idea why you’re eating the way you do, or maybe you have no idea how you’re eating at all, it’s just because you have no awareness of it. You haven’t been paying attention and observing your eating patterns neutrally day-by-day. And what brought me out of feeling like a victim of my eating habits, was simply paying attention. And this is really interesting, because I didn’t even need to solve my eating habits for me to feel under control of them. What allowed me to feel under control was awareness of what my eating habits looked like and why I was eating that way. So, I’ll explain this in the context of my clients, because this is how it normally works for them. They come to me with a number of eating struggles. And they have no idea why it’s happening. And sometimes they have no idea what’s exactly going wrong with their food choices. It just all feels really outside of them at this point. And when you join my program, we’re not focused on fixing your eating choices right away. First, we need to understand exactly what your eating habits look like right now and exactly what’s causing you to eat that way. And new clients usually believe in the beginning that what will allow them to feel in control with food, is when they fix the way they are eating. So, when they start eating the right things. But the moment I notice my client feel much more in control of their eating habits, is the moment they gain awareness. And this is before they ever technically “fix” what they’re eating. It’s the moment they understand why they’re eating the way they do. Because at this point, their eating habits no longer feel like something that’s happening to them. Their eating choices no longer feel outside of them. And this is all because in the program, they learn the skill of paying attention. To their mind, to what their bodies are telling them, to the eating decisions they are making. The concept of paying attention is a skill. And it’s one that must be mastered to create the eating habits you want. Most of your brains will want to focus on the quick-fixes, right? We just know this about your brain. It seeks pleasure, avoids pain, and wants to be efficient at all times. So, it’s going to want to focus on the food actions, or what you’re eating. And if you just try and take different actions with food, without paying attention to what brings you to take certain food actions, you will self-sabotage. Because you will be working against your current brain. You will be trying to force new eating habits against this complex machinery, which is your brain, that is designed to make the food choices you do now. So, this is why paying attention to your current eating habits, what makes you tick right now with food, is so important. You need to understand your current mindset and behaviors with food, so you’re able to work with your current eating habits, rather than against them. And as mentioned, if you are currently helpless and like a bit of a victim with your eating habits now, no judgement. Our brain’s absolutely love to act like they’re helpless. It’s always trying to conserve that energy. But, know if you do feel this way when it comes to food, it’s almost certain that you’re just not paying attention to your eating habits now. And if you’re willing to observe what’s compelling you eat a certain way, what foods you’re eating, what moments of the day you eat – all of it – when you’re willing to begin paying attention and gathering answers you will learn so much about yourself and what’s leading you to your eating habits now. And here’s really why this matters. When you’re willing to pay attention to your current eating habits and be a detective of them, you’re creating a mindset that you’re the expert of your own body. You’re creating this trust with yourself where you’re being responsible. And this is the type of empowering energy that you’ll need to really overcome your own crap on your way to healthier eating. Because here’s the thing, right? When you’re on this journey to making healthier eating decisions, a lot of drama is going to come up for you emotionally. And it’s going to be really tempting to hide. And to go back into the hole and feel like you’re helpless to your eating decisions. But the simple act of paying attention can quiet that part of your mind. Because you’re providing evidence that you are in control and that you can be trusted to figure it out. On the opposite end, when you’re not paying attention and trying to eat healthier from a desperate, entitled energy, then it puts you in a place where you believe you are a victim. When you’re willing to pay attention and evaluate the answers you get, you create an empowering relationship between yourself and food. Which is huge. And the concept of paying attention can seem really broad, so I want to explain exactly what this looks like. It’s very simple. The act of paying attention simply requires you to access the emotion of curiosity. So, I want you to consider what areas of your life do you feel really curious about? What brings up that emotion in your body? Maybe it’s a hobby you’re learning where you’re curious when it comes to figuring it out. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll watch all of the available episodes of a Netflix show and you’re crazy curious to know what happens next. You guys, I will admit it. Reality TV is my vice. I can’t get enough of it. And I am a curious person by nature. And this curiosity serves me in many ways, for example this podcast, right? But nothing makes me more curious than the times I am waiting for the next episodes of a trashy reality TV show. I can’t get enough. But anyways, I digress. Curiosity, according to the Googles, is simply “being eager to know or learn something”. And I want you to think about the areas in your life that you experience this. Examine what that curiosity would feel like inside your body. And then consider what mindset and thinking would allow you to create this curiosity with your eating habits now. This is what will allow you to naturally pay attention and get answers with food, without judgement. Because curiosity isn’t judgemental, right? It’s a very useful emotion because it allows us to stay detached. Instead of beating ourselves up for overeating one day, we can instead think “Oh. That’s so interesting that this happened. What led me to make that decision. What caused me to feel out of control in that moment?”. See the difference? Curiosity does not judge. It allows you to come back to the present and observe objectively what’s going on. This is where you gain the most answers with your eating habits, which is the place you’ll need to be in to solve for them. It’s funny, curiosity really ends up serving my clients incredibly, because by nature most of the women I serve are curious. It’s an emotion that is easily accessed for them. And it’s the same for me as well. Most women I work with have mastered curiosity in other areas of their life, right? They’re used to solving all of the problems. They’re busy moms, business owners, they have demanding jobs – all of it. And they’re able to manage these other roles in their lives by harnessing curiosity in moments where they need to figure it out. And this was the case for me as well. Curiosity always came natural to me when it came to my job and other things that I knew how to get done. But for food, curiosity wasn’t there for me. And this is the case with many of my clients when they start. But, curiosity is something they know how to create in other areas of their lives. So, I want to encourage you, that if you’re a woman who can easily access curiosity in other areas of your life, then this can also be created with food. And how would things change if instead of the energy of helplessness and desperation, you instead harnessed the energy of curiosity? Where anytime you have a setback with food, you’re looking objectively at the facts and evaluating your progress? Rather than beating yourself up? How would your progress look different if you were willing to begin paying attention from this curiosity? So, I encourage you to practice creating this feeling of curiosity when it comes to food. Anytime you experience a setback, or a win for that matter, get curious and evaluate why it happened. And then observe, over time, how you show up differently with food from this energy. Consider what thoughts would allow you to feel curious about your eating habits right now? What thinking would cause you to be curious when a setback occurs? This is how you will become a leader of your eating habits now, rather than a victim of them. Alright, my friend. Have a fantastic rest of your day. 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.