What are your foundational reasons for wanting to eat healthy?
Is it to lose weight, achieve better health, or feel better about yourself? Or, is it something deeper?
The reasons you have for wanting to eat healthy are valid. But, it’s important that you’re creating reasons for eating healthy that are compelling enough for you to make this work a priority.
In this episode, I share the difference between reasons that won’t create long-term success with healthy eating vs. reasons that will create the results you want with food.
I also share my successful client’s reasons for eating healthy that make the results they want inevitable.
Hello, my friend. Welcome back to the podcast this week. The fall season isn’t even technically here yet, but let me tell you, in my household that does not stop me from getting into the Fall spirit. I know I have a lot of you that listen from outside of the states, but just know that in the U.S. we definitely have a strong culture around Fall. For instance, as soon as it’s socially acceptable, actually probably way before it’s socially acceptable, I will fill my living space with fall inspired things. Like Fall candles – my favorite is anything woodsy or pumpkin scented. I will decorate with fall inspired pieces around the house and I will gradually start creating Fall inspired meals. So cooking with lots of pumpkin, some spices, hazelnut, chai – things like that. I just love it, what can I say? And I have no shame. It makes me happy and I’m pretty fortunate that Taylor’s totally on board with it. He just lets me have my fun. So if you’re feeling the pre-Fall spirit I am right there with you. And something else about this season where the weather starts to change a bit, kids are back in school, collectively I notice that you guys get really motivated and focused during this time on your health goals. In the best possible way. I’ve spoken to a number of you, even just this past week, who are so ready to begin the work inside Own Your Eating Habits, which for those of you who are new, Own Your Eating Habits is my coaching program. And this commitment you all show up with when you apply to the program inspires the hell out of me. Because I feel like with this work, we’re kind of birthing new earth in the health industry. Which I know sounds a little dramatic, but I’m also very serious. I feel like we’re creating this new wave of empowered women who eat the way nature instead. Who go back to trusting their bodies. Who gain the ability to trust themselves with food wholeheartedly without thinking about it every second of the day.. Who learn to provide for their bodies nutritionally but enjoy the heck of foods they love. It is powerful. And this is something that is really coming to light with the women who are joining my coaching program and it’s really the mission of Own Your Eating Habits. I love to see it and I’m so grateful for all of my clients always but also for all of you who listen to this podcast each week. We’re doing great things here and I’m hoping this work reaches enough of us so we’re changing the narrative with what it means to eat healthy and passing that along to our children and our children’s children, etc. And if you want to take the steps to change your eating habits this season, if you’re feeling that Fall motivation like myself and the current clients who are joining, you can learn more and apply to Own Your Eating Habits at katrentas.com/coaching. This is where you can receive the tools and support you need from me to get that control and stability with your eating habits that you want. Now, today, I want to talk with you about your reasons for eating healthy. Every now and again, I know when an episode isn’t going to be the sexiest sounding episode, but this topic is supremely important if you want to make lasting change with food. So, if that’s you, I want you to stay with me here and soak in all of what I’m about to share with you. Because it matters. Your reasons for eating healthy will determine if you follow through with it long-term. It is the defining factor. Because, our energy or emotions are what drive our actions in life. You need to ensure that you’re having reasons for eating healthy that fuel you and move you forward long-term, rather than burn you out so you quit. And this is a really sneaky concept that most are not aware of if they’re not checking in with themselves. So, today I’m going to make you aware of what your reasons may be for changing your eating habits now. And spoiler alert: If you find yourself not moving forward with making those changes with food, it’s almost certain that you don’t have reasons for doing so that ultimately serve you. In the past for me, my reasons for wanting to change my eating habits were very shallow. They didn’t feel shallow at the time, I really wanted those changes, but they were. They were not compelling enough for me to commit to the changes with food long-term. And my reasons were simply to lose weight, reach a certain number on the scale, and fit into a specific standard of beauty that I wanted to subscribe to at the time. Basically, I wanted to be skinny. Let’s be real and not sugarcoat it. I wanted to look a certain way. Because I was convinced that when I did all of my problems would go away. You all know how this goes. On the other side of weight loss was this fairy fantasy land where everything was sunshine and rainbows. Now, these reasons for wanting to eat healthy felt very real to me at the time. To me, they did feel compelling because those are the only reasons I could think of at the time for wanting to make those changes. But I wasn’t making the changes long-term and it’s because my reasons for changing the way I ate were too surface level. They were not compelling. And they were not useful for creating the energy I needed to make changes with food. The energy I was creating with my reasons at the time were urgency, desperation, inadequacy, etc. right? I wanted to change my weight because I was coming from a mindset of not being enough. So to escape that feeling of inadequacy I chased weight loss. I would think “I should eat healthy” or “I need to eat healthy” and my reasons for wanting to change the way I ate felt very desperate and restrictive. I had an emotional energy around changing my eating habits, this cocktail of various emotions that didn’t feel good and were not useful for creating lasting change. At the end of the day, it took me a long time to realize this, I didn’t have reasons for eating healthy that I really liked. That were really grounding and compelling to me. It was all very surface level. And here’s the part where I’m going to be really honest with you. This is my PSA of the episode. You do not have to change your eating habits, ever. Never ever. It doesn’t make you a better person or a more worthy person. It doesn’t remove all of your negative emotional experiences that you get when you’re a human being. There is no right or wrong when it comes to food. This is your life and you get to decide. Do you want to change your eating habits and achieve the results that come from that? Do you want to feed your body differently everyday and make different decisions with food? Is that something you genuinely want for your life? If so, great. But you need to like your reasons for wanting that change. And I’m going to describe to you what it looks like to not like your reasons for eating healthy and what it looks like to like your reasons for eating healthy. So, first, let’s talk about reasons for healthy eating that you won’t like, and when I say reasons you won’t like I mean reasons for healthy eating that will not get you that result long-term. These reasons look like this. “I should blank” or “I need to blank”. So in this case it would simply be “I should eat healthy” or “I need to eat healthy”. So, as mentioned, these were my reasons in the past. And your exact reasons may look a little bit different, but the general sentiment is the same. “I should be eating healthy” or “I need to eat healthy”. I want you to consider the emotions that are created from these reasons. For me, and for my clients, here are the emotions that come from these reasons. They feel desperation, rushed, panic, inadequacy, fear, shame, doubt, etc. etc. All of the really uncomfortable, not fun emotions. And little disclaimer, there’s always exceptions. There are some people in this world who totally can believe “I should be eating healthy” and then they just do it and it’s fine. But if you’re here with me, I’m guessing that’s not you, otherwise eating healthy would feel simple to you. It’s not me either, don’t worry. When I think “I should be doing anything” or “I need to do anything” immediately I create a negative emotional experience of what I’m trying to achieve. Now here are the results that are usually wanted from this place. From this energy. It’s usually a bit surface-level, right? It’s weight loss, looking better, improving external appearance, to feel better about yourself emotionally – things like that. Now, we’re not invalidating these things. These things can be great, you’re totally allowed to want them. But, they’re not compelling enough. Because the reasons at the end of the day, with this mindset, for eating healthy are to feel better emotionally or to be more worthy. That’s the goal. And here’s why that will not work. Firstly, because changing your weight, external appearance, or anything outside of you cannot cause you to feel better emotionally or feel more worthy long-term. That’s just a thought error. That’s not where your emotions come from. They come from your thinking. And when you lose weight, it will change your thoughts for a time, but you will end up reverting back to your old thinking and what originally caused your results in the first place. So, that’s the first reason why these reasons won’t work for you. Secondly, it’s because they’re not compelling enough. They’re too fluffy and outside of you. Now, some of you may be thinking, “Um, not really Kat. I really want those things. Like, really badly.” And trust me, I hear you. But, wait until I cover the compelling reasons that you will like, because you’ll understand the difference. The third reason these reasons won’t work is because other things will always be more important than changing your eating habits. You will always have things that are more important than feeling better and losing weight. For many of you. Other things will take priority. Like your family, kids, job, loved ones, your emotional comfort will take priority, right? And this makes sense when your only reasons for eating healthy are to lose weight and change your external appearance. Whenever I have a woman who really wants to join my program, but she’s not quite sure if it can be a priority for her, I know she’s not clear on the real reasons why she wants to change her eating habits. The real reasons. Which we’ll get to. The women who come into my program ready to go, which as mentioned if a lot of you lately, they’re more dialed into the reasons for eating healthy that they like. That feel very compelling to them. They have deeper reasons. And with these clients, it always shows up in their results in the program. Because they have that deep-rooted why that fuels them when they do the work. It’s such a game changer. Now, the fourth reason why this surface-level approach won’t work is because you’re going to highly doubt your ability to create these results based on past evidence. So, for example, if you want to eat healthy to lose weight and that’s your only reason, everything in your mind is going to tell you that it’s not going to work. Because you’ve tried to eat healthy so many times with that reason. And you’ve failed, likely if you’re like me, a lot of times with that reason. So you’re brain is going to take this evidence and convince you it’s not going to work. You’re going to have a lot of doubt. And the last reason why having these reasons for eating healthy won’t work is because of the emotions and energy that is created when these are your reasons. As mentioned, when your reasons for eating healthy are because you want to feel better, be more worthy, or because you should eat healthy, the emotions aren’t going to be fueling for you. They’re not going to be pleasant. So, you may experience desperation, panic, doubt, etc. These types of emotions will compel you to hide, procrastinate, seek comfort, and give up. You’re going to want to hide from the energy you create with these reasons. Make sense? This is a lot of information you guys. I really encourage you to go back through and re-listen. This is all why those kind of surface-level reasons for eating healthy won’t ultimately work for you. They’re not compelling enough. They don’t provide you the energy you need to see healthy eating through long-term. Now, let’s talk about reasons for healthy eating that you will like and that will get you the results you want long-term. The difference here is very simple. Instead of your reasons coming from the thoughts “I need to” or “I should”, your reason for eating healthy comes from “I want to” or “I want to eat healthy”. This is a really subtle difference, but I want you to consider this. Really observe the difference in the feelings when you think “I should eat healthy” vs. “I want to eat healthy”. Now, before moving on I will say for many of you, you may have both of these types of thoughts, which makes sense. That’s how it normally goes. The key is to take action with healthy eating from the reasons that serve you where you’re believing “I want to eat healthy”. Now, another thing I’ll mention, for some of you, you’ll think “I want to eat healthy” from the same type of energy as the reasons that don’t serve you. So you’ll think “I want to eat healthy” but it feels desperate, urgent, panicky, all of the emotions that don’t serve you. This can happen as well. Generally, the feeling will be different between “I should do something” vs. “I want to do something”. It moves you from disempowering to empowerment. But here, if that’s not the case for you exactly, don’t worry about it. Focus on the difference between the feelings here. So, reasons that don’t serve you create feelings like we mentioned. Such as urgency, desperation, panic, inadequacy – things like that. Reasons that do serve you, which in many cases is when you believe “I want to eat healthy” create feelings such as empowerment, commitment, focus, curiosity, calm – energy that will serve you in changing your eating habits long-term. With the previous emotions, the energy will feel too survival-based for you to access your decision-making brain and move forward every day with your eating habits. It will feel too reactive with those emotions. With the latter emotions, they will create an energy that allows you to move forward with healthy eating each day despite whatever obstacles or setbacks come up. They fuel you. Now, here are the compelling results or reasons for healthy eating that are wanted from this place. In the previous example, it was weight loss, looking better externally, feeling better about yourself – things like that. I want to offer you some deeper, more compelling reasons that my most successful clients have for doing the work. That makes the result of healthy eating inevitable for them. And these are real reasons that I actually pulled from them. They want to eat healthy to enjoy the full capacity of their life without having to think about food or their body. They want to eat healthy to savor the foods they love without feeling shame, guilt, or disappointment in themselves. They want to eat healthy to intentionally eat foods that provide their bodies nutritional value, without feeling restricted or pressured to do so. They want to eat healthy to not worry about their weight or body whatsoever when they’re spending the day with their family at the lake or beach. They want to eat healthy to be an example to their daughters or kids who also have struggles with food and body. They want to eat healthy to increase their level of self-trust with food knowing that they’ll eat what they said they were going to eat that day. They want to eat healthy to prove to themselves that they’re capable of moving forward despite their failures, setbacks, or any other part of themselves that feels like they’re not capable. They want to eat healthy to create more value in their life, in all areas, from a place of having enough and being enough right now. They want to eat healthy so they know that they always have full control of their eating habits despite what’s occurring in their life and despite what they’re feeling emotionally. You guys. I did not expect to get emotional. But the power behind these reasons for doing this work is the difference. I want you to compare these reasons to eating healthy because you think you should or eating healthy because you want to lose some weight. Those things are also valid. But you need to have reasons for doing this work that make it worth it. If you find those reasons, the result will be inevitable for you. You will create the energy you need to commit to this work long-term. Once you have those reasons, like really have them, weight loss and changing your body will feel like extra side benefits. Like the sprinkles on top of a delicious cake. They’re just a byproduct of compelling results that are so transformative and amazing. This is why you need to like your reasons. These types of reasons are compelling enough. Because you’re understanding that eating healthy and changing the way you eat isn’t just about food or your body. It’s understanding how it will affect all other areas of your life. Your family, kids, job, relationships – everything. When you understand this it will become a priority for you. You’ll know you have what it takes to show up fully as an imperfect human to the process. You will be fueled to do this work rather than burnt out and depleted. It’s not a perfect process. Even after my clients find their reasons they’re still allowed to have off days and feel depleted and be human. But they always go back to their reasons for healthy eating that they like. Because then they have permission to prioritize this work and take action on it right now. To make those reasons for doing the work come true, right now. Alright, my lovely friend. We went deep today. I hope this was valuable to you and gave you a new and different perspective. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week and I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified 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.