Don’t trust yourself to eat healthy and lose weight? It’s not personal. Your brain determines what it believes based on past evidence.
If you’ve struggled to eat healthy in the past, your brain will often come to one conclusion:That you are the problem. That you can’t trust yourself to eat healthy. That you are to blame for your lack of progress.
You will feel compelled to single yourself out and make yourself the problem. When, the truth is, the problem cannot possibly be you. Your past struggles with food are legitimate and make sense. You are capable now of creating the results you want with your body.
In this episode, I’m sharing how you’ll know if you’re blaming yourself for your lack of progress with healthy eating and weight loss. We’ll talk about why this happens, what it looks like, and how to move past this mindset now.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. As usual, I’m so happy you’re spending time with me here today. So today in this episode, I want to talk about the concept of when we make ourselves the problem and we blame ourselves for our lack of progress with food and weight loss. So I’m going to really dig into that here today. I’m going to dig into what this mindset looks like, why we have this mindset and how to move yourself out of it because you cannot carry this mindset with you into the progress you want with food and weight loss.
Now, before I get into that, I want to share a story here with you today, and this is a story I shared recently on my Instagram and to my email list, which if you’re not following me on Instagram, I share so many things that I don’t share on here and I connect more with you all in a personal way.
So be sure you’re following me at Cap rent us. But what I shared is the story of my client Rachel. And Rachel and I started working together about seven months ago is when she joined my program. And Rachel lost 41 pounds in six months without dieting. And I want to tell you how she did it because here’s the thing about Rachel, y’all. She is a single working mom of two young boys, I believe they’re six and four, and she is also a nurse who works overnight shifts.
And she came to me feeling very, very discouraged. So on our consultation call, she shared how overworked she felt in her profession. She was feeling really overwhelmed as a single mom. And with all of that, she felt really helpless to losing weight. She felt completely detached from the way she ate and the results with her body and the changes she wanted never felt accessible with the circumstances in her life because she has quite the full plate, single mom and working overnights as a nurse in her job.
But she came to me so committed and she was so ready to finally solve this problem in her life because over the year she spent so much money, time, energy, trying to solve this problem on top of the energy and time she was putting in with work and her kids. And so she was really committed. But what was interesting is she came to me on that consultation telling me how ready she was to buckle down, put in the work she was so ready to plan all of her meals, prep all the things, manage her time really intricately.
And here’s what I very gently offered her. I told her that instead, what she needed to learn how to do was have control with all of her eating decisions, all of them without relying on doing any of those things. So as in she needed to learn how to have control with food no matter what, no matter if she had a plan or not, no matter if she had meals prepped or not.
And no matter if her time was managed or not and how this would allow her to make the results she wanted with food and weight loss accessible, no matter how demanding her job was, and no matter how stressed she felt as a single mother, she wholeheartedly agreed and she joined. So we worked together for six full months inside own your eating Habits. And I want to share with you how she lost the weight because a lot of you will ask me the fair question of Kat, what makes your program different?
I’ve tried so many things, I’ve spent so much energy and money and time into solving this problem, and at this point I really just think I might be the problem. I think that this might not be available to me, and I totally understand this mindset and that’s also what we’re gonna talk about today.
But I want you to look at how Rachel lost this weight because how most of us have tried to lose the weight is in very cookie cutter ways that do not take into account our own needs and our own preferences. But I want you to look at how Rachel lost the weight and how unique it was to her specifically to solve this problem. So the first really big pillar that Rachel did that led to her progress was she learned to lower her emotional stress around her job as a nurse and around parenting her two boys without any of those circumstances changing.
So as in when work was being demanding and her coworkers were slacking on the job or they were adding in more hours for her, she learned how to manage her emotional stress and bring that down without any of those things changing. Alongside that, she learned how to lower her emotional stress with her two boys because they’re very young boys.
So of course there’s a whole lot of circumstances as a mom there and she was able to lower her anxiety and her stress with all those things still being the same. And this allowed her to learn how to do that without depending on her outside world. What this did is this lowered her cravings and her urgency for food constantly throughout the day. So then she began learning how to eat in response to what her body was telling her because now that her cravings weren’t so high, she was able to access her fullness and access when she was hungry and to feel more satisfied around food.
And so we began working with her and her body cues to learn what her personal hunger and fullness even looked like for her. Then what she did alongside all of this is all of the time she would spend planning meals and listening to podcasts and you know, researching articles, trying to solve this problem that time was now put to doing things that she actually enjoyed.
So for her it was learning how to play the piano alongside her boys. That was something she really, really enjoyed and wanted to do. So she started doing more things she loved, so she didn’t wait to lose the weight and eat healthier to enjoy her life. Then what she did outside of all of this is she showed up to every single coaching session. She evaluated her progress along the way, which you learn how to do, and she implemented all of the simple coaching she received in six months. She lost 41 pounds without a single food plan or without the circumstances in her life changing at all.
What makes on your eating habits different is this. Notice how customized her solution was for her. It didn’t make food the problem, it didn’t make her the problem, it didn’t make her job or her kids the problem.
If we make those things the problem, it’s no wonder we think the results we want aren’t accessible to us. What she learned how to do was she learned how to become someone who can manage emotional stress. She learned how to become someone who can listen to her body no matter what. She learned how to become someone who can enjoy her life and not spend all this time and energy solving this problem. That is how you become a naturally healthy eater and lose the weight without dieting and without willpower.
And I love Rachel’s example because she is a single mom of two young boys. She has a full-time position as a nurse, and if she can do it, so can you. It is 100% available to you, but it will require a different way than things you’ve done in the past. And this does relate to what I I want to talk about here today because let’s talk about when we feel tempted to make ourselves the problem as to why we’re not eating healthy and losing weight.
And what this really comes down to is a lot of us will have a lack of trust with ourselves to solve this problem. So I work with a lot of what I refer to as high achieving women. You may have all of these accomplishments in your life, you excel in the workplace, you feel like everything is in your control, in your life, and you’re able to show up and achieve. But then when it comes to food and weight loss, you can’t quite put together what’s not working for you.
And what can end up happening is we’ll end up with this lack of trust with ourselves because of how capable we know we are in other aspects of our lives. So if we’re this capable to achieve in other aspects of our lives and we’re not doing so with food and weight loss, then something must be wrong with us, right?
Or something must be wrong in terms of us not being capable of getting the results with food and body we want. And the biggest thing I want you to take away from today’s podcast episode is that the reasons why you are not eating the way you want to and you haven’t lost the weight the way you want to, isn’t personal and it can’t mean anything about you. Why it will feel personal and we may feel a bit hopeless or discouraged or helpless to it is because your brain believes what it believes based on past evidence.
And for a lot of you, the past evidence will show you that you have not created successfully the eating habits you want or the weight loss you want long-term. And so you wanna think about what do you make that mean about yourself and about your abilities to solve this problem?
And I want you to just think about that because our brain is always making things mean something about us. It loves to do this. So I want you to think about when you observe the past results that have been created for you with food and weight loss, what do you make all of that mean about yourself and your progress? Now, if you’ve struggled to eat healthy in the past, your brain will likely come to one simple conclusion that you are the problem, that you are to blame, that you can’t trust yourself to eat healthy, that your lack of progress has to do with you maybe not being committed enough or having enough willpower.
Maybe you think you don’t want the result bad enough. There’s going to be a lot of judgment there, and you may feel compelled to have hard handed thoughts where you’re kind of just beating yourself up for the lack of progress you’ve made.
When thoughts like these come up in our minds, I really picture these types of thoughts backing us into a corner and yelling at us a little bit, telling us what’s wrong with you. You should have done better by now. This shouldn’t be a problem anymore. And I want you to think about what this manner of speaking to yourself looks like for you. Think about what opinions you have of yourself because of your past food struggles, and why do you believe that you are the problem?
What evidence do you think you have of that? Now, what’s really interesting about our minds are lovely minds is that we will feel compelled to blame ourselves for our lack of progress rather than past things we’ve tried. So we won’t blame the past diets, we won’t blame the past restrictive weight loss regimens. We won’t blame the restrictive methods, we’ll blame ourselves.
And it’s so easy for our minds to do this and it’ll feel very indulgent to do this because we’re kind of just wallowing in this self-pity and frustration. But I want you to think about all of the things you’ve tried in the past to eat healthy long-term and lose weight. And if you want to take this into an exercise, write all of them down, get really specific with what you’ve tried, and I want you to really determine what about those things didn’t work for you.
At what point with all of those methods did it stop helping you create your results? When did willpower run out? When did motivation stop being accessible? Think about it. All of the past things you’ve tried, when did the methods stop working for you? And what happens is, as high achieving women, were very comfortable taking responsibility for our results in our external world.
Outside of this problem, we tend to feel very empowered. We tend to be the leaders, we tend to take action. But what happens with this, when we’re confused about why we don’t have the results we want, we really will feel compelled to self-blame and self punish. But I want you to use your logical brain here, which I know you have access to, and I want you to think about all of the things that didn’t work and validate yourself as to why. Because here’s what’s really interesting as well.
Women who join my program, they’ll have this sneaky little thought, oh, like what if this doesn’t work for me either? But what’s interesting is women who sign up for a consult with me and they join my program, they really already know it’s going to work for them because they’ve listened to this podcast, implemented some of the teachings, and they’ve already started creating results.
So they know my coaching is for them. They know the program is different and it’s going to fill the gaps they need. But what’s interesting is it’s this lingering thought, what if it’s me? What if something’s wrong with me? And I’m not fixable that this whole time that I’ve struggled, it wasn’t the past diets, it wasn’t the weight loss regimens that didn’t work, it was just me. And I really want you to know that this thinking is expected and it’s normal, but do not indulge this thinking.
Do not indulge this special unicorn syndrome that we have where we want to single ourselves out as the problem and make ourselves the personal reason why we’re not succeeding. Because if you do this, you will decide ahead of time that nothing will work for you. And this is something that you can be aware of. Now, I call this my special unicorn syndrome when my brain tries to do this.
And you can call yours the same thing, but we all have this accessible. And the truth is your brain will feel compelled to single yourself out and make yourself the problem. And none of this is logical. This is purely emotional. Another truth is the problem cannot possibly you. I say this a lot in the most loving way. None of us are special . I’ll say this to myself too, when my brain wants to have this like special snowflake syndrome, that something must be wrong with me and I’m less capable.
No, none of us are special. We really aren’t. None of us are inherently less capable than anybody else. And really when we look at this this way, the problem can’t possibly be you because you are not special. If there are other people creating these results, and Rachel at the beginning of this podcast is such a perfect example, then the problem cannot possibly be you because other people are out there creating it with the same circumstances and mindset that you have now.
So the problem can’t possibly be you. The difference is acknowledging this may bring up some discomfort because if the problem isn’t us, then we really have to get real with ourselves why we aren’t making this happen, why we aren’t proactively solving this problem. And you are capable of having control with food now, but if you’re indulging these thoughts that you must be the problem and that you’re a special case, you’re going to keep yourself stuck and you’re not going to take action.
You’re just going to keep pitying yourself a little bit. And really the actual problem and why you have not made the changes you want to make is you’ve just attempted solutions that did not teach you how control with food is actually created. Alright? So there are a ton of misconceptions about how control is created with our eating habits. And here’s where control is not created.
It is not created by knowing the right foods to eat for the love of God. , you do not create control by knowing the right foods, having nutritional knowledge or having a food plan. And I really want you to think for a moment, because I know this sounds obvious, I really do. But I want you to think how could those things possibly create control for you with food? If you have a strong urge to overeat, what the heck is a meal plan gonna do?
, I always think about it and laugh that meal plan’s not gonna slap the food out of our hands. Our nutritional knowledge isn’t going to all of a sudden step in and calm the urges to overeat. No, it’s entirely emotional. If you are trying to change your eating habits and lose weight by learning more things nutritionally and planning your meals and having food plans, then you’re solving the symptom of the problem.
And here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with having nutritional knowledge. I have the knowledge too. And there’s nothing wrong with, you know, having all of the food plans. Those things are fine, but those things aren’t going to create long-term control with your eating habits. At some point it’ll only be a bandaid on the problem where you’re treating the symptom of the problem, which is what you eat. And then your emotions will take over and you’ll fall off track and you won’t sustain your progress and you’ll gain the weight back.
And then you’ll think, oh, I must not be trying hard enough. I must not have enough willpower and I need to follow through on more plans. No, you are just missing how control with food is actually created. And the problem isn’t you, it’s that you’ve been attempting short-term solutions where you end up falling off track, which will further lead to this lack of self-trust where you further believe that you are the problem.
Now occasionally, sometimes people will try and argue with me on this and they’ll say, well, but my husband or my friend was able to follow through on this food protocol and they were able to create the results they wanted and they still have them. I can tell you my friends, that those people are not having a relationship with food where they are feeling emotional urges around food constantly. So their solution is not going to be your solution.
And this is really important because there are so many people on this earth and we all have different relationships with food and with body. And some people the solution really is a meal plan and the solution really is a food protocol. But that’s because they’re not having an emotional relationship to food. And those of us who are overeating or were emotionally eating do have that. And that’s not a problem at all.
It just means these are two completely different problems solved in two completely different ways. And this can help our perspective when we feel tempted to beat ourselves up because things worked for other people. And I’ll have a lot of clients who will share with me how maybe their husbands or their partners tell them, it’s so easy to just follow a food plan. This shouldn’t even be hard for you. And it makes them feel terrible because they’re wondering the same thing. This shouldn’t be hard for me to follow this food plan, what’s wrong with me?
But that’s not solving the problem that is there for you. What the problem is is needing to learn where control with food is actually created. And you need to learn how to create control with food by solving for the root cause. And this is similar to my client, Rachel, who she believed as well, right?
That control with food must be created by solving for things in her external world. By managing her time better, by having more protocols, she needed to learn how to manage her internal world. She needed to learn how to process the stress from her workplace and from her demands as a mom. So she didn’t come home from work every day and eat to numb those feelings. She needed to learn how to lower her emotional urges so she could actually have access to her hunger and her fullness in her body.
And then she needed to learn how to begin making food decisions based on her actual preferences and her needs with food, right? So you can think about how it’s perfectly fine and amazing that other people can solve this problem by changing the foods and changing the tactics. But I want you to consider for yourself, what if food was never the issue?
What if the amount of knowledge you have was never an issue? What if you know how to plan your meals and you already know how to manage your time and you already have all of the nutritional knowledge that you’ll ever need, which makes this problem simpler to solve because then it’s just a control issue and it’s completely solvable because then you just learn how to create control with food where it’s actually created, which is emotional. It’s learning how to manage your internal world so you can externally make the decisions with food that you want and lose the weight permanently.
Doing this core work will provide evidence to you that you do have control with food no matter what. You’re going to increase your self-trust and your self-confidence and your food and weight loss results will become permanent because you will be the one who created them.
The food plan didn’t create them. Managing your time didn’t create them a weight loss protocol didn’t create them. You created them with all of the things in your external world not needing to be ideal. That creates confidence, that creates self-trust and that creates permanent results that can stand the test of time. You will be able to eat healthy and lose weight even on your worst days because you will have solved for the root cause.
You will have created control. And this all stems from you seeing and acknowledging why you were never the problem. None of us are special. We can’t be the problem. The only thing that has to have happened is we were solving for the wrong problem and we were trying the wrong things. When you learn to solve for the root cause of your eating habits where you create control of food, no matter what this means, you will trust yourself to maintain it for life.
And this will no longer be a struggle that is on your mind that you spend energy thinking about and that you waste valuable time solving. But all of that being said, the theme of today’s episode I want to offer you is that the problem isn’t you. But if the problem is feeling like you and your brain wants to make it personal, have a conversation with it and see why. Come up with everything you’ve tried in the past and show that part of your mind why it makes sense that you failed.
And consider everything I offered you here today. What is actually missing for you personally to succeed with food and weight loss? Think about my client, Rachel, and how customized her solution was for her and how it actually addressed the gaps that needed to be filled. Where are your gaps for healthy eating and weight loss and how will you fill them?
Alright, I really hope this was helpful today. 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.