Guest: Kylie Ryan
Guest Bio: Kylie Ryan is a weight loss, mindset and motivation specialist and also a hypnotherapist. She has developed a program that helps women uncover and release the emotional blocks and sabotages that prevents them from getting a body that they desire.
Segment Overview: Kylie Ryan shares useful tips in learning to control food cravings and maintain one’s desired body. She stresses the effect that emotions have with food intake and Kylie explains further as to how we can process our emotions in a healthy way.
Health Professional Radio
Katherine: Today, we are joined by Kylie Ryan, a weight loss, mindset and motivation specialist and also a hypnotherapist. She has developed a program that helps women uncover and release the emotional blocks and sabotages that prevents them from getting a body that they desire. Welcome, Kylie.
Kylie Ryan: Welcome and thank you, Katherine, thanks for having me.
Katherine: Kylie, could you give us a little … maybe some tips on how can we overcome these cravings and urges?
Kylie: Absolutely. Okay, so obviously there’s a lot involved in learning how to make changes to emotional eating and cravings. To start with, before we deal with the ‘in-the-moment’ cravings, I’d like to just give you, listeners, some overarching tips that will change the way that they think about it. And the key to get started is to actually give yourself permission to feel all of your emotions, even the uncomfortable ones.
It’s really a key underlying a core paradigm that you need to make a shift in, to actually give yourself permission to go ‘you know what? It’s okay if I feel angry, if I feel sad, it’s okay, it’s just an emotion’. And those emotions, once they’re actually allowed and they’re not tabooed, then, you won’t feel the same desire to shut them down or to stuff them down with food. And so, when you give yourself permission to feel your emotions, they can give you some really amazing insights about your life and helps you to actually feel more deeply that you’re living. So, that’s my first tip.
The second would be to learn other ways to process your emotions. And so, journaling is a really wonderful tool that anyone can do. It’s totally free; all you need is a notebook and a pen and a little quiet time to actually journal out what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking. It’s been used for thousand of years and it’s a very fantastic strategy to use, so, journaling out your emotions.
Meditation and yoga are also excellent ways to help process your emotions. And, of course, exercise is fantastic to help with your emotions. And then if you need some more kind of systematic expert help, hypnosis, coaching are fantastic ways, fantastic kind of modern ways to give you some real strategic change in learning how to deal with and process your emotions. So, those are some tips to kind of deal with your emotions without turning to food.
Then, when you’re in the moment of the craving, then, you need to get clear on what’s going on. So, if it’s a ‘craving’ craving, rather than actual genuine hunger, then it’s an emotional kind of need. And most of the time, it’s not actually a real hunger. So, you need to learn the difference between that real hunger and an emotional hunger and also thirst. So, a lot of times when we’re having cravings, we’re actually thirsty. Most people are chronically dehydrated.
And so, when you have this kind of sweet craving, it’s your body craving water. In the past, you might have turned to a piece of fruit which has quite a high water content, but, these days, you might be turning to biscuits or chips, or lollies, or candy bars. And there’s barely any water in that. So, have a big, big drink of water or some lovely kind of beautiful herbal tea and wait a few minutes and see if you’re still hungry after that.
Kylie: I think the dehydration is a real, real key. So, drinking water is a big one. Then, giving yourself … if you’re still really feeling it, and you know it’s an emotional craving, you know it’s not a genuine hunger, then I’d suggest going to your journaling. So, maybe, writing out a page about what you’re actually feeling. Because emotional hunger is hungry for a feeling, not a food. Emotional hunger is hungry for a feeling. It wants to feel connected. It wants to feel loved. It wants to feel acceptance, self-compassion, energy.
It wants to feel listened to. That emotional hunger is trying to tell you something and filling it with food is not going to give it the answer that it needs. It’s not going to give it the feeling that it needs. So, really drink some water and journal out what you’re feeling. And then, if you’re still hungry after that, then maybe it is genuine hunger. And then, so go for a healthy option, maybe some nuts or a nice, healthy green apple or something that’s going to give you that satisfaction of a healthy snack but without just stuffing down those emotions.
So, you’ve actually gone through a strategy of drinking water, doing a bit of journaling to get clear on what the actual emotion is. You know, get clear on ‘what am I actually feeling right now? What do I need? What do I really want?’ It might just be that you need to talk to a friend, or, go and hug your partner. That might be the emotional need that you need filled.
Kylie: Finally, as well, there’s also, obviously, there are a lot of other factors that are involved in emotional eating and cravings and I think it’s important for me to note this to your listeners, as well. Sometimes sugar cravings can be an insulin response. And it’s a response to what you’ve been eating earlier on in the day. And if you’re eating too many high glycemic load, carb-heavy food like white rice or sugary treats, or sugary cereals or something, then your insulin will take a big rollercoaster dive and you’ll be on that sugar high and crash rollercoaster. So, that can also cause the cravings.
Another kind of practical tip is to make sure that you’re getting some healthy fats early on in the day and some good complex carbohydrates that are going to give you sustained energy without you needing to turn to sugary treats or caffeine to try and get through the day. So, if you need some help with that, it’s worth checking out seeing a naturopath or dietician.
Kylie: But, if it’s really emotionally involved, if it’s an emotional craving, really start to be present with your emotions. That’s my kind of key tip. Just start to bring in that level of self-awareness and listen to your body. It’s really trying to talk to you, it’s trying to tell you things.
Katherine: Right, thank you, and these are really good advice and practical tips, so thanks for that.
Kylie: It’s my pleasure.
Katherine: Some people actually say that diets don’t work, or, they make excuses, like, they’ll say ‘everyone in my family is big-boned’ or something like that. Why do you think some people self-sabotage?
Kylie: I used to say that very same thing. When I was overweight, I said that very thing, “I think I’m just big boned,” or, “I’m just voluptuous, it’s just the way my body is.” And I think, again, it’s a very complex issue, one that I’ve been working with for a long time. And I think there is a lot of factors involved with self-sabotage. Some of the things that you just said are some of the key self-sabotaging beliefs that people kind of live by.
And the problem is these kinds of beliefs, like ‘I’m just big-boned’ or ‘I’ll never lose weight’ or ‘diets don’t work for me’ or ‘I can’t keep it off’, these kinds of things, or ‘I don’t have the time, I’m a mum, I don’t have the time’. God, there’s thousands of things that women say to themselves and men, too, say to themselves that actually keep them stuck. And your beliefs can be your wings to soar you up to where you want to go, or your prison bars that keep you stuck.
The problem, you can’t see beyond your beliefs. And so, your mind is actually designed to reinforce and to look for things that reinforce your beliefs. So, if you believe that it won’t work, it won’t work. So, that’s where shifting your thinking is really the absolutelykey to making diets work. I mean, any kind of healthy diet will work. Those kind of terrible quick fad diets, of course, I don’t go near them with a ten-foot stick. But, a good healthy diet should work if you have the belief in yourself to be able to stick to them.
Kylie: So, that comes back to how you’re thinking and feeling about yourself, and that again, so, it’s self-sabotage. Self-sabotage has to do with a concept called secondary gain that’s kind of well-known in psychological circles, but not really well-known in the general public. And secondary gain is the process of where you’ll keep or maintain some problem that is slightly painful but is less painful than the imagined problem when you overcome that first problem.
So, as it relates to weight, you’ll remain overweight because once you might imagine that once you lose weight and become slim, that that will actually create a bigger or deeper problem for you. And lots of people will say, ‘oh, but, there’s nothing that I could imagine that would be like a negative outcome from me losing weight, everything will be peachy’. But oftentimes, there are unconscious associations with being slim, like, ‘maybe, I might be unsafe. Maybe I might be attacked. Maybe I might have more attention from men and it might negatively affect my marriage. Maybe I might cheat on my partner, maybe he might leave me’.
All of these kinds of, I guess, imagination-types of associations that can be connected with being slim are obviously as unique asindividual is, but most of the people that I’ve dealt with that struggle with their weight have some kind of negative association. I call them their little ‘mental piranhas’.
So, they have these little mental piranhas that are snapping at their heels and as they start to lose weight, these mental piranhas kick in and it snaps them back to where they’re overweight and where they’re kind of in safety zone, that comfort zone of not so overweight that they feel like they totally hate themselves, but not so slim that they feel unsafe in their bodies as well.
And so, the key to overcoming that is learning about how to actually unhook and get rid of these mental piranhas, and that’s what my whole program, ‘The Goddess Body Quest’ is all about; teaching you how to actually overcome these kind of mental piranhas and overcome that self-sabotage. Because what I’ve found is that – and it’s kind of hard-hitting, but – you’re not unhappy because you’re overweight. You’re not unhappy because you’re overweight. You’re overweight because at some level, you’re unhappy.
Katherine: Right, that’s a great way of looking at it, yeah.
Kylie: Yeah, it’s really … it’s kind of blunt, but when I put it like that, it gives you the awareness to actually take a look inside and think about ‘where am I actually unfulfilled? Where am I unhappy? What’s missing in my life? What is it that I’d really like to achieve? Or, what is it that I like to do that I’m not doing?’ And then you’ll have some insight on some of those aspects that you can follow down because weight is so not about the weight. It’s about all of those deeper issues that are going on.
Once you sort out those deeper issues, the weight will take care of itself. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times with all of my clients and the proof is really in the pudding. When you deal with those deeper issues, the weight will just sort itself up.
Katherine: Yeah, and for those of you that are interested in finding out more, you can go to Kylie’s website. It’s mymindcoach.com.au, and another one is slimandsucceed.com.au. Thanks for joining us today and giving us all this information about how the minds and the body is all interconnected.
Kylie: It’s my pleasure, Katherine. Thank you so much for having me.