Many women who join my coaching program have a desire to lose weight.
They want to shed pounds so they can finally feel confident in their own body.
But, we need to consider when it’s the right time to focus on weight loss in your healthy eating journey.
You may be thinking, “Isn’t that the point of eating healthy in the first place?”.
For many, the reasons they have for wanting to lose weight will cause them to self-sabotage.
→ The reason you have for wanting to lose weight will determine the result you get over time.
In this episode, I’m teaching you the energy that will sabotage your weight loss journey and the energy that will allow you to lose weight sustainably long-term.
Ultimately, you get to decide if weight loss is the journey you want to be on.
You just want to like your reason for doing so.
Hello, my friend. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m excited to chat with you today about the time for weight loss. And I want to get right into today’s topic because this is going to be a big one for so many of you. This is a topic for me personally that was a big factor in my own health journey and I know that will be the case for so many of you listening. And when I refer to “the time for weight loss” what I’m talking about here is, when is it the right time to lose weight or focus on weight loss in our health journey? And some of you may currently think “I mean, that’s kind of the point of a health journey, right? We’re on this health journey to lose weight and shed pounds”. But for many, this approach to weight loss, where it’s the singular goal of your health journey can keep you stuck. And you can eventually find yourself deep in the emotional trenches with your health journey or weight loss journey. And it can all just start to feel really impossible. You can begin to start to feel out of control with food and your body. And then you’re stuck trying everything to lose weight and not having any new results to show for it. So, I’m going to get into exactly what I mean by this and I’m going to explain what to look out for when deciding if it’s the right time to focus on weight loss. So, first, we need to talk about why humans have a desire to lose weight. Because this is really, really important. Your reason for wanting to lose weight will be the defining factor of your journey with weight loss. And here’s the truth. The reason why most of us want to lose weight is because of how we think we’ll feel emotionally once we lose the weight. And, fun fact, anything we do as a human with a human brain, any action we take is because of how we want to feel. Our human brains are driven by emotion. It wants to seek pleasure and avoid pain. So, it’s always going to want to do what it thinks will allow it to feel more positive emotion. Or, feel more comfortable emotions that we want to be experiencing, right? So these are the emotions like inspired, loving, confident, successful, accepted – all of the emotional vibrations in our body that feel really amazing. And any goal we set in life is because we think that this is what will allow us to experience more of those emotions. And, in turn, avoid the uncomfortable emotions we don’t want to feel. So these are shame, regret, doubt, fear, uncertainty – the emotional vibrations that feel a bit more heightened and unsettling for us in our bodies. So, with this, we know that your brain is attracted to weight loss as a goal because of how it thinks it will feel when it loses the weight. Your brain thinks that having that number go down on the scale will bring you feelings of confidence, acceptance, love for your body – all of those things. And the truth is, weight loss is not what does that. Whatsoever. The only thing that creates emotions, whether positive or negative, is your thoughts. Thoughts create emotion. So the reason why you feel maybe shame about the number on the scale now, isn’t because of that number. There’s no weight that can possibly be right or wrong. Because that’s subjective. How much you weigh is completely neutral. And we know this. This isn’t up for debate. Because you may feel shame when looking at that number on the scale, but there is also a woman out there who looks at that number on the scale and doesn’t have thoughts that create feelings of shame for her at all. She may feel acceptance for her body based on what she’s thinking about the same number. So, right now, you may be thinking “I shouldn’t weigh this much” which creates feelings of shame for you when you step on the scale. But for her, she may be thinking thoughts similar to, “This is my body. This is how much I weigh”, right? Maybe there’s not much emotion there for her at all. She just experiences acceptance when she looks at that number. She probably doesn’t have a strong desire to lose weight. And the point of all of this, is that your desire to lose weight isn’t really because of the weight. If you feel a strong desire to lose weight right now, it’s because you want to feel better emotionally. You want to feel acceptance or love when you look at that number on the scale, or when you look in the mirror. But weight loss doesn’t change your current feelings about your body. Only your thoughts do that. And, the interesting part, is if we’re looking at these two women, right? The first, may be similar to you now, who has a strong desire to lose weight because she wants to stop feeling shame about her body. Because she’s thinking “I shouldn’t weigh this much”. The second woman feels acceptance for her body and she doesn’t really have a strong desire to lose the weight, because she’s thinking “This is just my body. This is simply how much I weigh. No drama to it”. What’s interesting is the second woman who doesn’t experience the desperation to lose weight, will be more successful at long-term weight loss if she decides to set that weight loss goal. Because, she’s not approaching weight loss as a way to make herself feel better emotionally. She accepts her body and creates that emotion ahead of time. And if you’re going into weight loss from that desperate energy of wanting to feel better emotionally, you will likely self-sabotage. And as always, I would love to use myself as a little case study here to better explain what this looks like. And I will say, I know this is the case for most of my clients as well.
So, throughout my life, I always saw my body as a “work in progress” so to speak. I always saw my body as something to be fixed or worked on. And this was 100% a result of being raised in the diet industry. Restricting calories to lose weight, or following a specific diet protocol that I had no part in creating, was very normal. It really wasn’t questioned and it was common for women to bond over this experience. So, nothing seemed wrong to me about having this relationship with my body. I went on my first diet around the age of 10 years old or so. And that was that. And, to me, because of this mentality, happiness was found in weight loss. And I believed that if I lost weight then my life would be sunshine and rainbows. It’s so interesting to think about. Like, literally I would believe that if I lose pounds from my human body then things in my life wouldn’t be as difficult. Relationships would be easier, work would be easier, I would be living this amazing, dream life that I’ve always wanted. And, to me, I really thought that I wouldn’t experience negative emotions that much once I was skinny. And then I would just be happy all the time. And let’s have a moment of realness here. I want you to really consider if you’ve ever had these thoughts. Don’t leave me hanging here, I know you have. We’ve all had this mentality around weight loss. Where we’re kind of brainwashed to think that once we lose pounds from our body that we’ll just be happy. Which is why we become so, so desperate to lose weight. This is exactly why. We’re taught that weight loss is the key to being happy in life. And that if we’re not a certain weight, then we don’t have permission to feel content, to accept our bodies, or to love our bodies now. This is why the dieting industry is insanely profitable. It’s profiting over our pursuit for happiness. Not our pursuit for weight loss. And this isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s just the truth. This is why you feel desperate to lose weight. Because you can’t be desperate for just weight loss. Weight loss in itself is neutral. It’s not positive or negative. You feel desperate because you want to feel better. And let’s just consider how much less profitable this industry would be if we were taught to accept our bodies as is? It would look totally different. The weight loss industry is playing off of your desire to be happy. And when we’re desperate for weight loss, with that heightened energy, it causes us to fail ahead of time. And for me, back to my story, I would go into every diet, weight loss program, cleanse with this desperation. Like, if I didn’t lose the weight now, I wouldn’t know what to do because I was so unhappy. And from this place of unhappiness, desperation, shame in my body, I would self-sabotage. Because I would start off a new weight loss program with motivation. Because motivation will always be there in the beginning. This is actually just your brain anticipating reward so it raises those dopamine levels. This is natural. But then, those motivation levels will wear off, and you’ll be left with the same emotions you had before you started. So once the motivation wore off, that same shame, desperation, and unhappiness I was feeling with my body before I started the diet, came back. And I found that I wasn’t able to make sustainable healthy changes when I was feeling that way about my body. When I was feeling that way about myself. When I had this desperate energy. Because what I was trying to do with this energy, is I was trying to force myself to eat a certain way because I was desperate to feel happier. Really, I was attempting to punish myself to the weight loss results I wanted. And to the eating habits I wanted that I thought would bring me weight loss. And, at this point, I want you to consider. When you’re on a weight loss journey, at what point do the changes feel unsustainable to you? And when they become unsustainable, when you sabotage your eating habits, what emotions come up? Is it shame, desperation, uncertainty, regret – think about this. And know that those emotions aren’t a problem. What’s happening here, why these emotions feel like such a big deal to you, is that you’ve been taught that to live a fulfilled life you have to be happy all of the time. And you’ve been taught that weight loss is the way to get there. So, what does that leave us? It leaves us unable to handle when we’re experiencing negative emotion, because we’ll think something has gone wrong. And it leaves us desperate for weight loss, because we think that being happy all of the time is the goal of life. And that weight loss will do that for us. Approaching weight loss with this mentality will cause you to self-sabotage. You cannot punish your way to the weight loss results you want. Once again, weight loss is not positive or negative. You can want to lose weight and accept your body. But it’s all about the energy you have going into a weight loss journey. And if right now you want to lose weight from a desperate place because you want to be happier, it’s likely not quite yet the time for weight loss. And here’s a really big reason why. When you’re having that desperate energy, it’s all coming from your survival brain. And in our survival brain, emotions are very heightened. Which diminishes our ability to access our deliberate brain. And this is the brain where we solve problems and make decisions. To effectively lose weight, you will need to make decisions, gather data, and evaluate progress neutrally. And if you’re in desperate energy, you’re not going to do any of those things with the energy you need to move forward. It just won’t be possible. Because you’ll be too caught up in your primitive, survival, emotional brain. Going back to the example at the beginning with the two women who go on a weight loss journey. The woman who is desperate to lose weight will have a harder time doing so. Because she’ll be in a heightened emotional state with it. The other woman, who has feelings of acceptance for her body now, will be able to more readily access that deliberate brain. And this is what my clients learn how to do first. This is why. Because with heightened emotions, where they’re feeling desperate to change their eating habits and lose weight, they won’t do it long-term. They’ll end up self-sabotaging. We first focus on getting their brain to a place where they accept their current eating habits and body right now. Once they’ve learned to manage this part of their mind, then they can approach healthy eating, and weight loss if it’s the right time, from a neutral place. Only from this neutral place can you approach weight loss without suffering. Because you won’t be in a rush to get to that end result. Since you don’t see weight loss as something that makes you happier, so to speak. Alright? Hope this is making sense. This is a really, really different way of looking at this. And this is a major perspective switch that all of my clients must go through to get whatever end result they’re looking for. The right time for weight loss is when you aren’t using weight loss as a means to feel better emotionally. As a way to be happier. Because you know that weight loss isn’t what causes you to be happier. It’s your thoughts about you. And you can decide to choose thoughts about yourself now that allow you to feel acceptance. And then how much more fulfilling does a weight loss journey become when you’re coming from a palace of acceptance rather than desperation? From this place, you’re not rushing to the end result and you’re able to neutrally evaluate progress along the way. This is the difference between loving yourself to weight loss and punishing your way to weight loss. And something I want to share with you as well, is this shift in perspective with weight loss looks a bit different for each of my clients. Most of my clients come in wanting to change their eating habits so they can lose weight. Because they genuinely are in the same mindset that I’ve described in this episode. But during our time together, they really learn how to create acceptance and positive emotions that they want to experience without the weight loss. They learn how to do this first. So then, after they learn to manage their emotions without food and without a focus on weight loss, they have a clear mind to decide if they even want to pursue weight loss. So, two different examples. I had one client, she was so desperate to lose weight but it just wasn’t going to happen with this urgency. She needed to understand that weight loss isn’t what created happiness. She needed to learn that it all came from her thinking and her mindset. So, once she was able to manage her mind, she got to a place where she did want to pursue weight loss for her health, but not as a way to feel better about herself. Because she gained that power outside of weight loss. Alternatively, I had another client, who was desperate to lose weight. She really wanted to quote “feel more accepting of her body”. And throughout our time together, she created genuine acceptance of the body she had now. And it’s really amazing, she ended up stepping on the scale later on during our time together, and she came to me and said “You know, I might want to lose some weight one day, but now’s not the time. I don’t really feel the need to anymore”. And I watched her body language as she said this. And I could tell she felt so content and happy with this empowered decision that she made. Because now, weight loss wasn’t this way to feel better about herself and be happy. It was neutral. It has no urgency or power around it any longer in her life. So, she gained the empowered decision to decide to not pursue weight loss at that time. She actually decided she just wanted to focus on eating very healthy and feeding her body the foods that felt best for her. Weight loss was no longer even on the radar. And this is really the point I’m trying to make here. It’s not about whether weight loss is good or bad. You get to decide. I just want you to like your reason for doing so. For pursuing the weight loss. If the energy is from desperation and urgency, you’ll probably self-sabotage because it’s going to feel awful. And this is an indication to me, as the coach, that there’s some mind management that needs to happen before sustainable weight loss can even be a factor. But, if you have the energy towards weight loss that you don’t need it to experience fulfillment and acceptance now, this is the energy that will allow you to follow through with that goal long-term. Alright, my friends. I hope this gave you a new and different perspective. If you’d like support with this be sure to apply to my coaching program at katrentas.com/coaching. Thank you for being here with me today. And I’ll talk with 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.