If you’re a high-achieving woman, it’s likely you’ve attempted to eat healthy through hustle and willpower.
In my practice, my clients learn to remove the hustle energy from healthy eating.
Which means, they learn how to make healthy food decisions without “harsh emotional fuel”.
They learn to achieve their goals from softer emotions that feel easier in their body.
One of the most useful emotions to create results? Compassion.
Compassion isn’t cute and fluffy. It’s not pretentious. It’s a tactic and non-negotiable for healthy eating long-term.
In this episode, I’m teaching you why compassion is the best tactic for healthy eating and how you use it to gently drive your eating decisions now.
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Welcome back to the podcast this week today, I want to talk about tactical compassion, and this is something that I regularly walk my clients through. It is a non-negotiable to creating long-term results with food and with your body. But before we get into that, I want to address some because I see a lot of confusion in not just the health community, but in the world about this concept.
And a concept I see is that we’re believing that we need to stress ourselves and hustle ourselves to get a better result that we need to try harder or put in more effort in order to create the result we want. And this is just not true in the slightest. And this is a thought error. I see so many of my clients and us women in general, having it’s when we believe that hustling for a result guarantees us that result more.
And the truth is you can move from a hustle, stress state, into a relaxation state and get the result. In fact, it is a non-negotiable to get a long term result because then you’re not burning yourself out to get it. And with food, what I see is so many of us will attempt to hustle ourselves and will power ourselves from perfection to the results, with food that we want.
And we start to burn ourselves out and it no longer feels sustainable. And this is because we’re believing that perfection is necessary to change our body, eat a certain way and get the result that we want. You can take a action to get a result in a relaxation state, in a state of your body that feels livable and maintainable where you’re not burning yourselves out, because I want you to consider that the reason why the way you are eating is not sustainable.
Isn’t necessarily the actions you are taking. It’s the emotional energy you are bringing into those actions. It’s that emotional energy you’re bringing into that diet products call or meal plan for the week. The stakes are very, very high for you. And this creates an unlivable experience in your body, emotionally of that journey towards the result you want. It makes it very punishing and UNSU.
So long story short, you can move from a stress state into a relaxation state in your body and get better results. I was a former hustler and I worked for years on producing the same level of quality, the action and success in all areas of my life without hustle. So without adding more emotional effort to the actions I was taking, and this is what I teach my clients to do with food.
This is really the backbone of my practice is teaching women how to take out action with food, eat healthy, get the results with their body that they want without stress and without willpower.
So I want to talk more about that today and how tactical compassion relates to that. And as mentioned, the biggest myth I see is that you need to suffer and punish your way to better results with food or your body. And it’s true. There are actions that are necessary to get any result. That is how a result is created. So in my practice, the actions that are necessary are to stop overeating.
You learn to listen to your body and you begin making food decisions based on your preferences and your needs. So this is what takes every client from struggling with food, to becoming a naturally healthy eater. And what happens when clients come into my practice is they think they need to use harsh, emotional energy to follow through with those actions. And you don’t, you do not need to use harsh emotional fuel in order to follow through with any actions, especially with food harsh, emotional fuel is what I would most generally refer to as willpower.
So willpower is when you are neglecting your human needs, you neglect your nervous system to force specific actions and results into place. So this is where you are trying to hustle your way to the result because you are in a rush to get there quicker. So you did all of your physical and emotional needs in the process. So this is when you will suppress emotions, you will neglect body cues, and you really don’t listen to what you truly are wanting and needing in the process to a, a goal.
It will feel very punishing. And when it feels punishing and you feel burnt out, this is when you’re going to want to rely on motivation, to feel compelled, to take the actions, because it feels so terrible and how hard. And you’re trying to force a lot of food actions that you don’t want to be doing.
And so when this stops working, the motivation has run out and you’re feeling burnt out as a result of taking actions from harsh, emotional energy and willpower, you will then try and conjure up more masculine emotions, such as determination, grit, commitment. So you will try and move through these actions from these types of emotions. And these can be great emotions, but I want you to notice where you may be trying to wield these types of emotions from.
So in the beginning for my clients, when they come into my practice and they’re making a lot of changes, they’ll often believe they need to feel more determined or more committed. And this normally comes from them believing that they can’t trust themselves. And they’re not enough right now. It comes from a total place of not enoughness that their body is not enough that their results aren’t enough.
So they want to harness these more masculine emotions to force the result into place from desperation. And this is just representative of them wanting to hustle themselves to the result. And this is when these emotions are not useful, because to be honest, what’s happening here is there’s nothing wrong with emotions like determination, commitment. They can be very useful, but they’re likely not for you now because a lot of you are misinterpreting desperation as commitment.
So you can feel commitment in your body because you believe I am willing to take the necessary time to solve for my eating struggles long term. This is commitment that is useful. And the, this is the mindset that a lot of my clients have really consider that energy of commitment that isn’t forced, it’s calm, slow, and grounded in your body.
It stands the test of time, no matter how hard it gets, you can always feel that level of commitment.
That’s what commitment is. What most of you think commitment is, is when you believe this is my last chance to do things differently. And I don’t care what gets in my way. Nothing’s going to stop me this time. I’m going to create this massive change in my life. Let’s up and go notice the difference in this energy. It’s very urgent and desperate. And sometimes this very heightened energy can be useful in your life.
This burst of adrenaline, right? So let’s say maybe it’s a race you are running or something that requires a quick burst of emotional energy to see it through changing the way you eat long term, doesn’t require quick bursts of emotional energy, where you then burn yourself out. This is urgency and desperation, and it will create an experience with a lot of highs and lows to it. It will feel very unstable and unsafe in your body as you’re going towards the result.
And your journey is going to be a lot slower because you’re going to burn yourself out so much. You need to access the calmer more grounded emotions to see it through. So commitment, determination, those more masculine emotions can work for you. But most of you are defining those types of emotions as hustling as doing more as punishing yourself as having quick verse of emotional energy that are very heightened, those types of emotions.
If that’s how you are defining commitment and determination, those won’t work for you. Those will burn you out. And right now you may not be having a useful relationship to those emotions. And this is going to show up in how you take action from those emotions. If you have a relationship to commitment, determination, grit, that feels very Huy and will powery. It’s not going to be useful for you.
And you’re going to have to access different emotions that feel calmer, more grounded and more safe in your body.
And it’s really interesting because most of my clients identify as go getters as hustle as someone who gets it done, they’re very much like I was, which is perfect because I have been there. And when I introduce them to this concept, sometimes there’s a bit of resistance to it because they want eating healthy, to feel easier. They want that ease in their life, but they have been relying so much in their life on these bursts of emotional energy, this willpower to accomplish tasks.
So this means that when you take that away and you offer them a process to take action, without that, they have a lot of fear. They have a lot of lack of self trust, and they think it’s not going to be enough without that type of harsh fuel that they’re using to get the result. So I hope this makes sense.
The purpose of this episode, and this concept is to introduce you to the fact that you do not need harsh, emotional fuel to get the result, whether that’s with food or your body, those types of emotions, and that type of fuel is going to burn you out. And what I know about most of you who listen to this podcast and the women I work with is we’re not normally the types of individuals who are go with the flow and what happens, happens.
And I do things from how I’m feeling in my body. No, we’re very head people. We overthink we over plan and we constantly feel like we should be doing more. So for us, these more urgent types of emotions are not useful for us. We need emotion that slows us down and calms our nervous system, because you cannot be in a stress state emotionally and get the results you want with food or body you long term.
So in a nutshell, those types of emotions do not end up being the most useful for my clients. And they come in thinking that they need to feel those emotions to be successful. So once again, things like commitment, determination, grit, the, those types of things, and what ends up happening is what I most often see as the most useful emotion for my clients is compassion. And here I’m referring to it as tactical compassion, because I know that most of you will perceive the emotion of compassion as being very warm and fuzzy.
And non-useful like, oh, that’s cute. That’s adorable, but I’m here to get results. So let’s go. I don’t need that. And if this is coming up for you, maybe it’s not. But if it is, this is an indicator that we need to slow you down because you are trying to take action on solving for your food struggles, from a rushed stress state, from that hustle, that urgency and that desperation, we need to slow you down emotionally, which means you will need to be kinder to yourself.
I know it sounds like such a waste of time. Sometimes to be nicer to ourselves, but it’s a non-negotiable. You will need to learn to stop acting from not enoughness in your body, where you are hustling and in a rush to change your actions and change your results. This happens when you’re creating an experience emotionally, that feels unsafe. We need you to create safety.
Emotionally. This begins by creating enoughness in your body in order to get the results you want. You have to create an experience of being a human along the way that feels livable. And I’ll say that again, because a lot of you need to hear it to create the results you want with food or your body. You must create an experience of being a human. That feels livable long term.
If you are having an emotional experience that feels unsustainable and unlivable on the way to your goals, that goal will not be.
We have to take care of ourselves to the results with our body that we want. And this is a lovely thing to know that we can’t punish ourselves to the results we want. No matter how much we try and disregard our own needs and taking care of ourselves in the process, it will not get us the result we want. And so this is what I want you to consider. When I talk about this tactical compassion, I want you to notice how you may believe now that being kind to yourself and softer with yourself may not be productive or that it may not be useful.
I want you to notice that if that’s the relationship you are having to these types of emotions, because here’s the thing to know about compassion, pity. And I see people mixing this up a whole lot. Self pity is never useful.
Self pity is when we have beliefs where we think poor me, I have it so hard. I’m struggling. Nobody can fix me. I can’t figure this out. And I’ve tried everything and nothing is working that is never useful. And as the humans, we will be offered self pity from time to time. And you do not want to take that bait because you can drown in self pity. If you indulge it for long enough, it will keep you stuck.
If you’re committed to sticking your feet in the mud of self pity and self pity is not being kind to yourself. It’s actually very, very punishing compassion. On the other hand will feel very grounded. You will not feel like you are drowning because compassion taking a look at your current patterns, your current humanness, and thinking this adds up. This makes sense.
I understand why I’m doing these things.
Even just believing. I’m a human being. It’s safe for me to be human. This feel hard. Notice how these types of thoughts don’t necessarily feel heightened emotionally in your body. It’s just compassion. It’s just slow acceptance for whatever is coming up for you now and allowing yourself to feel safe in where your work is even more. So you allow yourself to feel safe in your current experience of being a human.
I want you to picture your human body like a house that you live in because it is. And if you are feeling unsafe in the house you live in, now, you’re going to want to constantly escape at it. And this will look like self sabotage and self punishment. You need to create a livable experience of being a human in your body and the most useful emotions for you personally are the ones that allow you to do this.
For many of you likely not quite ready to access things like discipline and determination and commitment. If that brings you to a place of hustle and willpower, I really offer you to try on more calm, softer emotions in your body, such as compassion, because here’s the thing. Compassion produces higher quality action. Much of the time for my clients than things like commitment and determination doesn’t mean those can’t be accessed.
And it doesn’t mean they’re not eventually useful once you stop rushing, but I want you to consider what if compassion is the only emotion you need to create the results you want, because compassion feels livable for you. This emotion is 100% necessary for my clients. You cannot create long-term results with food and body without having compassion for yourself, which is why it is a tactic.
Compassion is just acceptance for whatever is coming up for you now and allowing yourself to feel safe in where your current work is to move forward, evaluate your progress and grow from your setbacks.
Compassion is a non-negotiable and it does become easier in my practice because the clients will quickly understand why they haven’t been getting the results they want. So before joining my program, a lot of the clients really don’t understand what’s going wrong. They’re making their struggles very personal as our brains like to do. And when they get in my program, compassion does feel a bit more accessible because they all of a sudden have the blueprint for why it hasn’t worked and how they’re going to make it work.
And I want you to consider that you can use this podcast even as a way to access compassion, because in these episodes, I want you to look for evidence of, oh, of course, this hasn’t worked for me. Of course, I’m struggling. Of course, this feels hard. This makes sense. Compassion becomes more accessible when you start piecing together the answers for why it’s not working now.
So I want you to observe your relay to compassion. Think about it. Are you tempted to be harsh on yourself and judge yourself right now on the way to your goals and then consider what actually would create the emotion of compassion in your body. The thoughts don’t have to be really warm and fuzzy. They can be thoughts like this feels hard right now. This makes sense why it’s not working.
I understand why I’m struggling. And then picture how you would show up differently from this emotion of compassion. When it comes to solving for your food struggles. When it comes to making decisions with food and your body really allow compassion to come up in your body and then really watch how much more livable of an experience that emotion is rather than the harsher emotional fuel you’ve been attempting to use.
And then alternatively, you can think about how do you show up from the hustle emotions, where you’re using willpower.
So maybe you try and harness motivation, determination, commitment. Do you burn yourself out with those emotions or is it sustainable? If you burn yourself out from these types of emotions, try on compassion. Instead it is a game changer. And I also want you to notice if this may be one of those topics that you’ll save for a rainy day like this all makes sense and you’ll get back to it.
when it feels convenient. And if that’s the thought you’re having that T compassion seems nice, but it’s not the priority. This is your sign to prioritize it. Do this today, set aside time later to check in and do this work and see how compassion can be available to you now. Because once again, my friends to create the results you want with food and body, you must create an experience of being a human being that feels livable.
Tactical compassion is a way we can do that. All right. I hope this was helpful. Thank you for being here with me today, 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.