Permanent weight loss is more than just choosing the right foods; it’s about understanding and managing your emotions and stress in a way that works for you.
Getting to the heart of why we eat the way we do is key to making lasting changes in our eating habits.
In this episode, we’re going to have an honest chat about:
→ The real difference between what we feel and the stress we experience
→ Why it’s so easy to turn to food when we’re trying to deal with uncomfortable emotions, and how this can lead to ongoing cravings and holding onto weight
→ Practical ways to recognize and deal with our emotions to regulate stress overtime
→ The essential steps to maintaining control with your eating habits effectively
The journey to lasting weight loss is more than looking for quick solutions; it’s about building an understanding relationship with your body, emotions, and nervous system for lasting transformation.
Hello, welcome back to the podcast this week. I hope you’re having a fantastic week so far. In today’s episode, I’m really happy to touch on the topic of emotions versus stress. So in case you were not aware or maybe you’re new to this podcast, so much of why we eat the way we do has to do with how we treat our natural emotions as the humans. We’re going to have all of the emotions, whether they’re comfortable or uncomfortable, and the goal is for you to have a healthy, tolerable relationship to your emotions in your day-to-day life so you can have minimal cravings and maintain the eating habits you want to have.
So we’re going to be able to touch on that today, and this episode will be a great resource for you to begin practicing this work for yourself so you can learn how to manage your emotions without them leading to high cravings and high stress.
This is a really big focus of my program on your eating habits. So we just kicked off the January cohort for the year where women are learning how to eat healthy naturally and lose weight for the last time. So if this is something that you want to master at the deepest levels, make sure you join the wait email@example.com slash waitlist. You’ll get all the information about our upcoming cohort so you can master these skills as well.
But let’s get into today’s topic, which again is emotions versus stress. And the biggest problem many of you are going to face is that you’ll just notice that in the course of your life, your emotions are constantly feeling a bit intolerable and uncomfortable, and stress just always feels like it’s piling up. So work feels like it’s taking over. Maybe the kids feel like they’re constantly needing something from you or your relationship needs work.
Whatever it is you feel like that stress is constantly just always available to you. And what happens when this feels like the state that your body is in is you’ll notice your cravings are constantly available as well. So your cravings and the level of that over desire for food will match your stress. And this leaves you with a very reactive food relationship where it does not matter what time of the day it is. You never know when a craving will come in and you’ll find yourself unconsciously eating or overeating.
And then this ultimately prevents you from losing weight or it creates more weight gain. And so this can be a very frustrating place to be in where you want to lose weight and have certain results with your body, but you feel like that your cravings and ultimately your stress is working against you. So that means that the root problem you want to address is your stress levels and your stress levels at the core are a result of how you’re treating your natural human emotions.
So that’s what I want you to learn today is really that difference between human emotions versus stress levels. And I want you to think about emotions when you feel them in your body, our vibrations that you can have. And there’s different flavors of emotional vibrations. So we can feel joy, we can feel doubt, disappointment, excitement, inadequacy. There are many different emotional vibrations available in the human experience.
And emotions are completely natural, safe and healthy for you to experience even if they are uncomfortable because where emotions come from are from your thoughts. So thoughts are the sentences that you’ll notice in your brain. And when you think certain sentences or thoughts, they create specific vibrations in your body. So if you think I have too much work to do, you will experience the emotion perhaps of overwhelm. If you think I’m not doing a good enough job, you may feel the vibration of inadequacy.
You get the idea. Now, when natural human emotion can turn into stress in the body is based on how you treat your human emotion. So I want you to separate human emotion, which comes from your thoughts, from stress on your body. I want you to distinguish those two concepts. And what we’re going to talk about is how you can learn to navigate each of these effectively so you’re able to eat the way you want to and get the results with your body that you want to have.
Here’s where it tends to go wrong. So I like to use the example of overwhelm as an emotion because it’s one that many of you are all too familiar with. So where it goes wrong is let’s say you experience the vibration or emotion of overwhelm. And so what happens when we don’t learn how to regulate an emotion is you’re going to resist the overwhelm and it’s natural state.
So overwhelm will make itself available and it’s going to feel uncomfortable, but then your natural inclination is to comfort it or suppress it. And what’s the most readily available source of comfort at any time? It’s food because we have to eat to survive. So then what we feel compelled to do is to comfort or suppress the overwhelm with our eating habits. And what this does to the overwhelm is it doesn’t actually relieve it.
It actually just suppresses it to come back stronger later on. So when we treat emotions like this, I want you to picture an inflatable beach ball in a swimming pool. And it’s kind of like that thing we used to do when we were young, and hopefully some of you can relate here, where you bring that inflatable ball below the surface and then when you let it go, it comes shooting out of the surface, right?
So this is kind of what happens to our emotions when we suppress them or comfort them with food. It sets it back up to come back stronger. And when you’re suppressing that emotion with food, it will create internal stress on the body. So picture that inflatable ball going beneath the surface. This is creating stress on the body where you will retain weight and you’re going to increase those cravings over time to comfort that emotion because the stress is getting higher and higher.
What happens here when you’re eating to suppress the overwhelm and it gets stronger, the cravings will reach a point where they become intolerable. So you’ll feel like you’re not in control of your eating decisions, the desires at an all time high, and ultimately what you’re teaching yourself and your body is that natural overwhelm is not tolerable or safe. So I want you to think about where this all started, right?
You experienced the natural discomfort of overwhelm, that specific vibration, and then how you react immediately is to suppress it and comfort it. This teaches your body to see that vibration as unsafe, which will spike the cravings to comfort it and so to speak, push that inflatable ball underwater where it then comes back stronger. So, so much of this is about you learning how to change your perspective and your relationship to initial emotions when they come up.
So in this example, you will need to change your relationship to natural overwhelm when it first announces its presence. And so this is a healing process, y’all. This is how you change your eating habits permanently and you lower your cravings long term is you will need to teach your body that overwhelm, for example, that any emotion is safe and tolerable to experience. So to experience the emotion of overwhelm in a healthy way, you just want to be aware of it.
So I want y’all to start noticing your emotions day to day. Just get into the practice of asking what am I feeling in my body? So let’s say you notice that you’re experiencing the emotion of overwhelm in a moment, and then what you’re going to do, rather than reacting to it and taking action or getting in your thoughts and spiraling, you want to just.
Drop into your body where that vibration actually exists. Because remember, your emotions are vibrations in your body, nothing more, there’s nothing more personal about them. And the goal is to allow your body to process that overwhelm objectively where you just notice it, you describe it, you get really familiar with the sensations of it. And this is how you learn to regulate stress, right? Because I want you to think about the inflatable beach ball example where allowing your emotion, not pushing that beach ball underwater is regulating your stress.
‘Cause you’re not creating that pressure of when you’re pushing that beach ball deeper and deeper beneath the surface, stress will be regulated over time. When you treat your emotions this way and you sit with it and allow it at its most basic level, what will happen is your body will eventually stop retaining weight. Your cravings are going to lower over time and your overwhelm will continue to be more tolerable.
So it’s not going to get triggered as highly. You’re gonna notice overwhelm earlier on and you’re going to be able to hold space for it before it gets suppressed and more elevated. And here is a really big key point I want you to understand, and we’re still going to use that example of overwhelm, but you can use this with any emotion that’s uncomfortable that you experience. Alright? So overwhelm resistance is not overwhelm. So emotional resistance is not your emotions.
The resistance to your emotions is what feels intolerable. Emotion is very tolerable. So this has to do with any emotion, but I’ll say this in regards to overwhelm, right? Your resistance to the overwhelm is what feels intolerable. This is what makes your cravings so high, it’s what makes you feel really reactive is because you’re not yet willing to sit with that uncomfortable vibration. That’s what feels so terrible is resisting it overwhelm where you just sit with it in a calm way is very, very tolerable.
So I kind of like to see it as an itch that you don’t scratch
Overwhelm is tolerable. Resistance to it is not. Notice that. Another thing I want you to keep in mind is that you want to set the standard that you always have control with food, technically speaking. So never live under the false impression that you never have control with your eating decisions.
What we’re referring to here is how to give you the most easel version of control with food. So where willpower and harsh discipline comes in is if you are not managing your stress and cravings and they’re really, really high, and then you’re trying to force yourself to overcome that stress and cravings and make healthy eating decisions. What we’re helping you do here and we teach you how to master in my program, is how to lower this stress and these cravings long-term.
So you can have the most easel version of how eating, that’s what makes your weight loss permanent, is when you heal this at the root level. It’s how to make healthy eating decisions as accessible for you as possible with the stressors in your life. But never make the mistake of believing that you can’t make healthy eating decisions at any time. Technically, you always have control.
The key is to find out how to have the most easeful version of control with food. Also, I want to offer that this is a process my friends, so do not expect a quick fix when you are solving this for the very last time. This is why my program own your eating habits. It’s six months long for this reason. So clients completely change how they eat in that program, but they do so by devoting themselves during the six months to skill building.
So really they are focused on changing who they are as an eater in that time because they are intent on making this the last time they solve this problem. So that really is the intentions you wanna have. And also keep in mind that to lose weight permanently, it will be required from you to partner with your body. So you will need to be willing to partner with your emotions, your nervous system, and treat it better.
There is no other way you cannot neglect yourself and your emotional health to the long-term weight loss you want. It’s going to require you to really care for yourself here. Also know that curiosity with your emotions is everything. So I want you to think about what it’s like to be curious, almost like a scientist. There’s no meaning attached to what you find. You don’t make your emotions personal, you don’t have judgments about them. You’re just curious about what am I thinking and what am I feeling in my body?
Let yourself have that objective curiosity. With the emotional work, it’s going to help you also know that if your cravings feel intolerable, it’s never because you’re addicted to food. And it’s not that you lack willpower, it just means you are not yet regulating your emotions at the base level that they’re meant to be addressed at.
So no nothing’s ever going wrong. If you’re experiencing high desire and cravings with food, it is just a tactical problem, my friend, that you can solve for. And lastly, the theme of this episode is that your emotions are not unhealthy. Stress on the body, your emotions at the most base level are safe, even if they’re uncomfortable. Emotions only become stress when you resist them and do not acknowledge them.
So be willing here with me today to start becoming someone who creates a space of safety when emotions come up. Alright, my friend, I hope this was helpful to you. I hope this gave you some insights on how you can begin not just healing your relationship with food, but your cravings and your emotions as well. If you want to commit to this work at the deepest level and solve for this for the very last time, own your eating habits is where you want to be. This is my exclusive program for high achieving women who want to eat healthy naturally and lose weight permanently.
So join the wait list at cat rent.com/waitlist so you do not miss our next open enrollment. All right, 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.