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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

Fixing Your Inner Game & Mastering Your SELF with Kait Ann-Michelle | DFIO 279

About Today’s Episode:

Today I am interviewing a brilliant friend of mine, Kait Ann-Michelle! Kait is a speaker, an expert coach, and an absolute master when it comes to the inner game mindset as it applies to weight loss.

When it comes to the topics of goal achievement, trying to transform your body, and transforming your life, she and I have very similar philosophies—but Kait brings a totally different perspective.

We get into a LOT today, from talking about Kait herself, and her story, to where you even start with mindset.

If you struggle with being present and you're always focusing on (and getting anxious about) the future or because your identity is stuck in the past—we talk a lot about how to fix that and how to change these narratives, change your entire perspective on life, stop self-sabotage, and ultimately get out of your own way.

Let’s get into it!


04:12 About Kait

About Kait:

Kait believes that you don’t pick your purpose, your purpose picks you.

She grew up as an athlete and was a D1 basketball player in college, but took a year off to pursue her dream of playing professionally.

Kait did earn a contract to play for a team overseas but tore her patellar tendon, and her contract was pulled. During this time, Kait also found herself in an abusive relationship.

After moving home and having surgery, Kait was feeling restless and aimless.

Not being able to just sit around with no purpose, Kait started bodybuilding—to an unhealthy degree—and ended up being hospitalized.

She was at the point where she didn’t care if she lived or died, but she knew that it would cause her mother a great deal of pain—so she committed to finding a way forward.

She started learning and healing, and while she was in undergrad and graduate school, she began coaching.

For a long time, Kait trained people for free. She started with kids back home that looked up to her, just helping them with workouts and nutrition.

Over time, the parents of those children began to want to work with her—and her coaching business started from there.

Kait still had a lot of anxiety and she didn’t fully understand herself, so she started doing a lot of introspective work.

Through her own journey of introspection, Kait built a framework of principles that got her out of a very dark place and made it her mission to combine psychology and physiology.

She believes that people can transform their lives, but if nothing changes mentally, they will inevitably fall back into old patterns.

She launched her business, LevlUp, in 2021 and is pursuing a second master’s degree in clinical psychology.

Where to Start:

Kait believes that you first need to gain clarity around what the problem is. She explains that there are 4 stages to mastery of self:

First is unconscious incompetence—meaning that you have a problem, but you're not willing to acknowledge that it exists.

Next is, conscious incompetence—meaning that you're problem-aware.

You have a problem, you know you don't like it, and you're not certain how to solve it. This is where coaching comes in.

The third stage is conscious competence—this is going to require a level of mental effort.

You have to recognize the problem and get very clear on who you want to become—in temperament, personality, and physicality—and what you want to embody.

Then, you paint the vision.

Depending on the person and situation, Kait will employ various mental model practices so that over time, with practice and intention, they can move to unconscious competence—meaning that you naturally select to engage with these things because they bring you closer to truly embodying that person.

Kait says you don’t need to wait until you “lose that 20lbs,” to start being the person you envision—you just start behaving that way.

You need to have clarity first, though, and you need to be committed—you need to take action.

Her goal is to take her clients to the point where their worst days are good, because when good is your baseline, you eliminate the concept of failure.

No matter how fast or slow you're moving, if your worst days are still good enough, you're still moving forward.

Find Peace in Chaos:

If you know who you are, what your intentions are, and you like who you are, you don’t have to feel bad for being you. You can choose to change things about yourself—or not.

A key thing is to ask yourself, “Do you like yourself when you’re by yourself?”

Jared finds that many people in the diet space avoid being with themselves because they don’t like themselves when they are alone. Oftentimes, they will have a hard time just sitting in silence and holding space for whatever comes up.

Kait will start clients out just sitting in silence for one minute at a time, not judging any thoughts or emotions they have, and build them up from there.

The chaos of life is inevitable—and it has a purpose—so you need to develop tools to find peace within the chaos.

Jared believes that a big reason why so many people are so resistant to sitting in silence is because they have expectations around it—like if their brain won’t “shut up” when they try meditating, they think they’re doing it wrong—but it takes time for you to reach a point of peace.

Kait explains that you need to stay detached from outcomes, because when you detach from outcomes you relieve pressure and you don’t prevent yourself from experiencing the thing you need to experience.

Whether it’s meditation or a fitness journey, you need to let go of outcomes.

Kait believes that you need to develop an appreciation for your various experiences. While there are certain things about the human condition that we cannot control or change, your experiences contribute to who you are.

Slow is steady, and steady is fast.

It’s about how consistent you can be in walking the path that will inevitably get you there.

What Success is Not:

Kait says, “It’s not about what you want to want”—meaning that it’s not about societal pressures or the values you are told you need to want, such as earning a high income.

If you don’t want to lose weight, you will not lose weight.

This is, again, why you need to get very clear about the life you truly want and why you want it.

You develop a lot of clarity and objectivity when you identify what is meaningful to you.

Navigating Resistance & Being Present:

In order to become somebody different, you have to do things differently.

When somebody comes to Kait after realizing that they are living a life they do not want, she works in small steps with what feels comfortable for them to face.

This is a collaboration between her and her clients. The steps of changing need to be under the client’s control—the choice needs to be their choice.

Jared believes that this is where being present comes into play, because being able to focus on the one action, effort, or intention that makes an impact in this moment moves the needle forward and is grounding.

Kait says your life will pass you by if you are always looking at the past or future rather than living in the moment.

She also stresses that we all have the ability to, and are one decision away from, creating a completely different life.

If you want to pick up and move across the country/find a new job/etc., you can make that choice.

People feel chained to their lives because of what Kait calls “stakeholders”—jobs, friends, family, etc.

You need to take a close look at what/who your stakeholders are and decide whether or not they are serving you, because sometimes you can add by taking away—by setting up boundaries.

Kait has a rule that she doesn’t judge herself on something until she’s done it 100 times, because if you compare try 1 to try 5 they will look very similar, but when you compare try 1 to try 100, things will have changed. You’ll see the progress you’ve made.

For those on a fitness journey, weight is not the thing that measures your success.

How do you feel about yourself? How do you show up in your day-to-day? What better choices are you making? What things are you now saying “no” to?

All of these are things that have nothing to do with the scale.

It’s about your mind and your behavior.

Getting Set Up For Success:

Kait’s program motto is “strong, fit, free.”

You need to be physically strong so you are not attacked by others and you need to be mentally fit so you are not attacked by yourself, and through those two, you have the tools you need to implement freedom.

But that freedom has to be earned.

Kait builds a blueprint that is catered to each individual’s schedule.

She first starts by seeing if they are fundamentally sound. Then, she gets clear on expectations and builds a foundation—giving evidence that they are more capable than they believe—to rewire their beliefs.

Next, she moves into becoming mentally fit.

She believes that a person has to be ready.

At this point, she develops mental frameworks around the things an individual client is struggling with.

Kait believes that the fundamentals of fitness carry over into every other aspect of a person’s life.

When you improve your level of self-respect, you start to tolerate less bullshit in your life, because you no longer tolerate it from yourself.

As Jared often says, if you go through a transformation and only lose weight, you did it wrong. But if you do things the right way, you change the fundamentals of who you are—so it impacts everything around you.

Kait believes that the reason why a person goes through a transformation and only loses weight is because they are not focusing on the right thing. They are focusing on the scale, not on themselves, who they are, and who they want to become.

People get so focused on the outcome that they don’t focus on the process of who they are becoming in pursuit of that outcome, making the chance that they carry that new identity forward after transformation minimal.

Overcoming Impatience:

Kait never wants to judge a person’s frame of reference. When she encounters a person who is really wanting to lose weight now, she asks them questions.

If you have done the same thing over and over—or tried to lose the same weight over and over—you have to be willing to be different and become different.

You have to do the boring, fundamental work.

That’s where you’ll find lasting change.


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Post-Production by: David Margittai | In Post Media


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