Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 26 - Katie Hake - EAT TO LIVE - Part 2 of 3

Well, how does that progression go because I know-- So, as a non-diet example, I'm a big fan of RPE, which is Rate of Perceived Exertion when you're training for run schedules. Because then you're forced to figure out how does my body feels today and it kind of tunes you in a little bit more to your fatigue levels.

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JESSE: Well, how does that progression go because I know-- So, as a non-diet example, I'm a big fan of RPE, which is Rate of Perceived Exertion when you're training for run schedules. Because then you're forced to figure out how does my body feels today and it kind of tunes you in a little bit more to your fatigue levels. Versus just saying, I'm just going to my heart rate or I'm just going to do power or whatever it is, this external measure.

So, I know a little bit about training people for RPE but I also know my college roommate, just seemed, I'll say dead to the world, but he's a very, very intelligent man. He just finished his boards to be a doctor but he just has the hardest time feeling out his pace and he relies so heavily on these things. I know it would be a struggle to get him to like RPE only. So, how does the progression work for you where you have somebody kind of similar to my friend who says I don't know what's intuitive, I only love pizza. Pizza makes me feel good. How do you get them from there to something where they can actually listen to what their body's telling them?

KATIE: Right. That's a perfect example. And I almost compare a lot of what I do, I get somebody on the phone talking about nutrition. I say I do very similar to what I would do at the personal trainer, right. You mean it's a personal trainer, they take you through a workout, they may teach you how to squat, but it isn't until you work with that trainer regularly, and you develop not just you know, you understand your form and technique but you know the why behind it. Or you start to understand a little bit more why is it that I can't stay motivated? Until you really develop not just the strengths but the skills, the habits, the behaviors, that's when the change occurs. So, the same with my clients. The journey, I guess you could say it looks a little bit different for everybody based on kind of their history and you know, all the things that they've experienced in their own life, that have influenced the beliefs and values that they have where they are today. And we get a really clear idea of where they want to be kind of in the future.

So, what the journey looks like, gosh, it's helping people to think big one, especially with the females that I work with is that they just aren't eating enough. So, starting with how can I just start to trust my body? How can I start to just identify what my body's feeling whether it's hunger, fullness, whether it's just like your friend getting in tune with what does my body feels after a tough workout? Do it even know the difference of what it's like to push myself a five compared to a 10? What does that feel like? So, we do a lot of just almost exploration. It's a lot of me asking the questions that a lot of times we just don't take time to sit down and think about, especially with food. So, often it's just we eat what's there, what's available, and sometimes we don't chew, just whatever we can get our hands on, and then we're on to the next thing.

JESSE: Yeah. So, do you think it's a matter of practice? Like, is there hope for everybody, I guess is what I'm asking?

KATIE: A 100%, 100% I believe that there's definitely hope for everybody. And even just from the clients I've worked with, I have had some people that it clicks fast and they're easy to make that mindset shift around food and maybe even just after a couple sessions, they go, okay, I get this, this makes sense, I get it, and I'm practicing it, right. Whereas I have others that they've dieted their whole lives or they are so hung up on this weight loss or whatever it is that the goal is. A lot of those beliefs are so ingrained in them that it takes a little bit longer, like you said, a little bit more practice a little bit more training on the thoughts we have and whatnot, in order to get to that, the other side of that mental shift. Because that's really what it comes down to is the mentality behind food.

JESSE: Right. It sounds like-- I always have problems with this in the sense of like, I'm a very motivated person, and I want others to be very motivated too. Like you can't motivate somebody else. I liken it to my very first episode when I had my coach on, we talked about motivation. I liken it to starting a fire. You can't start the fire in somebody else. You can encourage the fire, you can help build it, but you can't start it. So, it sounds like sometimes people come to you, they've started the fire, but it's very, very low and it's almost to the point where it can go out. And your job is more to get rid of those mental scripts to get them to buy into your program than it is anything else.

KATIE: And I resonate with that so much. And that was so hard for me when I first started working in the field because, like with personal training clients, I just want you to push yourself harder. Like I personally as a professional took on so much of that almost like guilt and why can't they just do it? Why aren't they seeing the results? And as fitness professionals, we're really excited and passionate and motivated about what we do. But like you said, we can't change people. At the end of the day, they've got to work through it themselves and they've got to, like you said, start the fire and keep the fire burning. And so that's part of why I took this kind of countercultural approach and what I do with training and nutrition because that side wasn't working, at least for me, and for my clients. I don't have enough energy. I think as professionals and just individuals, we have to learn how to protect our own energy when it comes to helping others and working in a profession where you're serving others, putting up those own boundaries, but still being able to help others, right, and recognizing I can't change people, so I've got to take a different approach.

JESSE: Yeah, I think you actually have a blog post about this, self care is not a luxury.

KATIE: Yes, I love that--

JESSE: And along that line is like you have to love yourself before you can love others. Like if you don't take care of yourself, you don't have the ability to serve others to your full capacity.

KATIE: Absolutely. 100% especially in this go, go, go, time and--

JESSE: cultural environment.

KATIE: Yeah, it's all about the hustle. It's like no, do less.

JESSE: Yeah, well do it smarter. I think hustle is I mean, as an entrepreneur, that's a message I get a lot from certain individuals is that all you need is hustle and you'll succeed. It's like, okay, that's true. But in some sense, like if you continue forward, no matter what, you're probably going to succeed. But at the same time, I think people have varying degrees of internal energy. And somebody who can go say they can operate on four hours of sleep at night. Not that it's healthy, but say they can do it. I can't do that. I’ve never have been able to, going back to middle school, I had a friend I'd spend the weekends with him. He'd be up till two, three in the morning. If I made it past midnight, I was [??? 8:09] like I would just pass out. It was like, I wanted to stay up but I couldn't. So, I think, trying to subscribe to this one size fits all, hustle mentality or whatever, like more work is better, is not necessarily the best approach. And unfortunately, I think it comes back to it depends on you individually, what you need to do to get the most you can accomplish.

KATIE: Yeah, and talking about self-care like you said, self-care is not a luxury, right? I think we hear so many people say, oh, oh, I wish I could train for something or I wish I could sleep more or we've all got our own excuses. Like you said, we've only got so many hours in a day, but it's a matter of what are you doing with those hours and how are you going to prioritize? You have to learn to prioritize these, maybe an hour or 10, 5-10, 15 minutes throughout your day to focus on you, right, to be a better friend better spouse better, whatever it is, protecting that own space of your own.

JESSE: Well, it's interesting to at least I guess in my own personal life is like one of my initiatives this year is making more food at home. So, like even like the snacks I have, which are obviously a food of convenience, I have a registered dietitian that works with me in the company and she makes recipes to give out for free. And I use some of her recipes and kind of use some of the snacks that she's prescribed I guess. And just doing that, spending the extra time to okay, let's get the food processor out and like make this and prep it for the next few days and eating those versus what I can buy from the store, they really should be similar. I've noticed I have more energy, I feel better, which makes me more productive because I spent a little bit of time on something versus spending the money for the convenience.

KATIE: Yeah, that's a perfect example of honoring your priorities in a sense of self-care, right. You're investing that time, even though it's not always easy, right. Like I don't want to do that on a Sunday but knowing okay, if I do this now, this is going to make me like you said, more productive, more energetic, more x, y, z positive for the rest of the week.

JESSE: Yeah. Yeah. It's this philosophy, I think I mentioned this to Nancy, and I think I mentioned it to a few people. It keeps coming up. And maybe I'm just seeking validation as I keep mentioning this. I wish I knew what bloggers would attribute this to because I've-- who knows how many different things I've read at this point. But this person said, this philosophy of like, you can eat whatever you want, as long as you make it. I'm thinking about basically like, if you want an apple pie, you can eat apple pie, but you have to bake the apple pie, you can't just go buy it. I think there's some innovation there where it's like, there's a lot of effort that goes into making apple pie. So, you'll probably slow down a little bit on some of the less nutritious things because they are so involved and then you'll probably still be hungry after you're done making it.

KATIE: You definitely would get a little bit more satisfaction, I think, from making the food. I always encourage that a lot like with the kids I work with and the parents. Get the kids involved, right, because kids-- we are no different than kids when we take the time to find a recipe, buy the ingredients, make the ingredients, put it all together. Have you ever made a dish and you're sharing it with somebody and you go, well it's really not that bad. It's good, right? Like you are so proud of it that you're like, no, it tastes really good and everybody else is like, this is awful. But you have that pride because of the time, the energy, the effort that it took for you to make it that you get, you enjoy it a little more.

JESSE: Yeah. So, along with your philosophy, I kind of wonder if on a personal level for you if taking this subjective approach is kind of a bit of like, prescribing the art of living, which I don't know that we necessarily take as much time to do nowadays. Like I have a personal philosophy that there are three basic ingredients to a good life; family, friends, and food. If you have those three ingredients in good proportion, then you have all you need for a good life, everything beyond that is superfluous. And then it's easy. If you get your friends and family together and have a meal, you have them all there together. So, just you know, thinking about that subjective thing. I don't know if you prescribe to that, like art of living idea, but I think about it sometimes about not just how do I get more money? How do I buy a better house? How do I have a fancy car, but just like, how do I live my life well?

KATIE: Yeah, I resonate with that, 100% I don't know how much you are into finance, but I love listening to like Dave Ramsey and the whole--

JESSE: I'm familiar with Ramsey, yeah.

KATIE: Yeah, Rachel Cruz, I think it’s his daughter I heard something that she talked about once. So, just about, like learning to appreciate what you have and stop that comparing to others, right? Because at the end of the day, like you said, I think it comes down to the relationships we have, and what we're doing to get the most out of this life versus focusing on all the extras that we could have. Can you just learn to appreciate what you do have and live in the moment and have a mindset of abundance and not a scarcity mindset. I think that makes all the difference in all the aspects of your life, right, whether it's relationships or food or exercise.

JESSE: Yeah, I'm a big fan of the abundance mentality. And I don't know how much time you spend on Reddit, but sometimes it can be a very negative place. I kind of use that as a little bit of a barometer for how other people feel. And there's often kind of like a backlash against this abundant abundance mentality. Well, it's easy to have an abundance mentality when you already have enough.

This is coming from people that are maybe struggling or whatever it is. And kind of see what you think about this, but my kind of counterexample to that would be okay, maybe you don't have enough but is having a scarcity mentality having a positive effect on you? Or is it affecting you negatively? Versus trying to have that abundance mentality where you maybe even naively believe there's enough. Say it's not true, which I do believe is true, but say it's not and there's not enough to go around. Does having the mentality that there is enough to go around and there's plenty to share, does that affect you more positively than having the scarcity; what's more effective to you to live even if it's not true?

KATIE: I agree with that. I agree with that so much and that almost ties into the nutrition work that I do with clients is we work a lot on you know, these foods that we almost like put off-limits, right, like the apple pie or everybody's got their thing, right, we call almost like your guilty pleasure. If I can remind myself and almost give myself this unconditional permission to eat these foods. What does that do for my mindset, right? Initially, what was our initial thought is, oh my gosh, I'm going to want it all the time, all day every day, I'm going to want the apple pie non-stop. But if I just can remind myself that I can have this food anytime, right, that almost takes away some of the what's the word I'm looking for, the urgency or the drive to have it all right now. Because at the end of the day, it's going to be okay, I can have it anytime.

JESSE: It's that idea of I want what I can't have.

KATIE: Yeah, yeah.

JESSE: So, when you say I absolutely cannot have it, then your mind fixates on it. And it's like, no, no, no, but then that's all you're thinking about instead of trying to think, okay, maybe I should have this or this or this instead. So, how does as an example, I just bought an ice cream machine recently because I love ice cream.

KATIE: Oh, my gosh [??? 17:00] ice cream machine. How like?

JESSE: So, I bought one with a compressor Cuisinart ice 100. [crosstalk] I saved up my credit card points and use my credit card points to pay for it.

KATIE: I love it, I love it.

JESSE: But I just, I really love ice cream. I love ice cream since I was a kid. I used to eat way too much ice cream. I would go through a half gallon in three days by myself kind of, I ate way too much ice cream. So, I kind of now there's a point where like I want to craft ice cream and kind of make my own small batches and that kind of stuff. So, for you, when you're talking to clients like I could, of course, be like no ice cream, ice cream is terrible for me. I do reserve it for a weekend activity partially from time-wise, but how do you fit that into like a healthy eating mentality for people that have had those restrictions?

KATIE: Yeah. Like I said, it varies for everybody. But we work a lot on what are those lists of foods that are forbidden to you because it's different for everybody. You talk to somebody who can have a gallon of their favorite ice cream in the fridge or the freezer, and it stays there for months, right. You talk to somebody else who finds that they have a bag of chips, and it's gone in one day. So, we work a lot on kind of establishing that trust and where did these beliefs come from that if I eat this food, it's going to be gone. You hear a lot of this tip floating around of well if it's out of sight, out of mind. That's great. But then what happens when it's insight? Then it's all you're focusing on?

And so how can we start to just get that healthier relationship with food and have the foods there so that I almost start to look at all foods as neutral, right? Because when we can look at food as neutral, then we can really start to make choices that both make me feel good physically, but also are helpful to me mentally, if that makes sense.

JESSE: Yeah.

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