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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

How Doing the Deep Work Fixed Heidi's Relationship with Food (ft. Coach Steven) | DFIO Ep.264

About Today’s Episode:

Welcome back to the show! I have a really great episode for you guys today!

I wanted to show you how deep work really is the key to getting where you want to be. Today, we are going to talk to an amazing woman named Heidi.

Heidi was able to have an amazing transformation around her own goals in just a matter of months. She has been able to eat more calories while losing weight, stop binge eating, and completely free up her mental space around food, the scale, and the fear of gaining weight.

The thing that truly made the difference for Heidi—and helped her transform—wasn’t a special workout or diet hack, it was inner work (like journaling, inner child work, mental reframes, etc.)

I know you guys are going to get a ton out of this one. Let’s get into it!


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Transcript (click to expand)

About Heidi:

Before coaching, Heidi had a poor body image and suffered from compulsive eating, which eventually led to binge eating and purging in her late teens and early twenties.

Throughout her life, her weight fluctuated. Though it was never out of control, even when her weight was down Heidi always saw herself as being heavier.

These lifelong struggles with weight led Heidi to identify herself as someone who “had problems with food.”

Then, right before Covid, Heidi started a boot camp-style program that she really enjoyed and had a great community, but it was not sustainable for her. The intensity of the program—and nagging injuries—made it difficult for her to maintain.

Falling off of the boot camp-style program and stress from her job led to Heidi, once again, gaining weight.

Now, at the age of 54, Heidi is at a lower weight than she can ever remember being. She has continued to lose weight while adding calories and working towards finding her maintenance.

Heidi’s work with Coach Steven has involved several “ah-ha” moments. She started around the holidays and being able to enjoy foods she loved during that time—without restriction—was among the first of the many “ah-ha’s.”

Identity work has also been greatly impactful for Heidi. She has discovered that she can do more from a fitness perspective and have a better relationship with food than she ever believed possible.

More Success, Less Pressure:

Heidi has had such great success that she almost feels like she is getting away with something.

Coach Steven vividly remembers his first meeting with Heidi. She was at a weight she wanted to maintain, but she “didn’t trust [herself] enough to stay [there].” Through improving her relationship with food—and letting go of restriction—by diving into the inner work, Coach Steven has seen Heidi take some amazing strides.

Steven knew from their first meeting that Heidi would be successful and respond well to the questions he asked. Heidi was already big into self-help and was in a place where she could take and apply the advice that was given to her.

The goal for Heidi, when she started coaching, was not weight loss. When she started working with Steven, her calories were increased to an estimated maintenance level. Over the past 3 or so months, her calories have slowly increased by about 250 calories—all the while dropping 6-7 pounds AND getting leaner.

Heidi has put in a lot of deep work and has earned her weight loss and transformation success.

What Made Heidi Take the Leap:

For Heidi, just hearing over and over again that she could eat the foods she loved and be healthy, along with journaling, made her more comfortable trusting her coach and letting go of her restrictive habits.

Heidi was also able to be more comfortable with trying a new, restriction-free approach because she had previously had success with weight loss, but she wanted to learn how to maintain her weight loss.

She knew that even if calories went up and her weight went up, they could always adjust.

Jared points out that when someone has self-trust issues, often the thing they are most afraid of is what fixes the problem. Heidi has been a professional executor during this process and has worked to keep her word to herself and build that self-trust.

Heidi and Inner Work:

Heidi has always been open to the idea of inner work and journaling. She works in the mental health space and has read many self-help books—so she was very willing to give the inner work approach to weight loss and food a fair try.

She found that thinking about who she wanted to be surrounding this transformation was very impactful.

Coach Steven saw Heidi making strides pretty early on in the process. Getting through Thanksgiving, and then through Christmas, they had many conversations surrounding her relationship with food.

There were times when Heidi struggled with determining whether or not she was restricting, but over time Steven saw her making conscious choices that were in alignment with her goals, but not restricting certain foods.

Working on reframing and learning the difference between restricting/denying yourself foods and making conscious choices was important for Heidi.

Eventually, Heidi had dropped a few pounds and they realized she was actually in a slight deficit. Heidi and Steven decided this would be a good time to work on some of her fitness goals—like getting stronger and building muscle. During this time they slowly increased her calories to help with this goal.

Heidi now goes into the gym once a week in addition to her home workouts.

Coach Steven’s soft approach with increasing calories allowed her time to process the idea of eating more.

The idea of adding calories was—and still is—a little scary for Heidi. Since she has been working with Coach Steven she has slowly gotten more comfortable and she does trust the process, but there is still mental effort needed on her part.

She and Steven talked for 2-3 weeks before they even started to slowly increase her calories.

Heidi found that Steven was very good at asking questions that pushed her to reflect on why she was feeling a certain way about her calories, workouts, etc.

Jared remembers one thing that he learned from Steven was the importance of reflection in thinking and questioning your own feelings.

Steven finds that, oftentimes, thoughts are just accepted. However, diving deeper into the narrative in the mind is essential and allows one to reframe when needed.

Dieting From The Inside Out:

Heidi is feeling stronger in her self-efficacy than ever before. She knows it’s something she needs to continue to nurture, but previously, maintenance was something she could never figure out. Heidi lost and gained weight over and over again in the past, but has much more trust in herself now to maintain her weight.

Jared points out that Heidi has the right mindset about needing to continue to nurture her self-efficacy, self-trust, and confidence. He says that “people forget it’s like a muscle or a skill set—if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Jared finds that so many times when people find success, they then let go of the habits that got them there.

Steven agrees it’s all about continuing to do the work and staying aware.

Heidi has recently learned to enjoy the process. For a long time, she had really struggled with negative self-talk and had tried crazy diets. This time, however, things have been different and she is now experiencing sustainable success.

Investing in Herself:

Heidi was the winner of a coaching scholarship, so for her investing in herself was more about accepting that she was the right person to be given the opportunity. She felt that she should really embrace the program because she had been given such a wonderful opportunity.

Heidi knew she needed more than what she was getting from free content and what she was doing on her own. Having a coach—and having accountability—was hugely impactful for her.

The reward of getting helpful feedback from her coach was also very motivating for Heidi.

Jared believes that, most often, it’s the accountability that people need more than anything else.

Steven agrees that accountability and support are the biggest pieces of coaching. When a client has a bad week he is very supportive and reminds them that there are a lot more good times ahead in this journey. Steven finds that, quite often, it’s that bad week that causes someone to throw in the towel—but having support along with accountability makes a huge difference for clients.

Jared finds that many people who apply to coaching do not have the support and accountability they need.

Heidi finds that the trust you build with your coach is also huge. The struggles and the dark moments you have that you can share with your coach may not be things you’d want to share with other people in your life.

Steven agrees that a lot of people don’t have the support they need and coaches absolutely need to hold space there.

Advice From Heidi and Steven:

Heidi says that you are probably closer than you think to really finding success. She believes that if you are willing to go deeper than just learning about calories and macronutrients and do the inner work, the journaling, etc., that’s where the magic is.

It feels more empowering, she says, when you let go of those timelines and restrictions.

Heidi was focusing on her wins and found that by focusing on establishing the habits, the actions, and the inner work instead, it allowed her to release her timelines and expectations.

Steven is very honest with his clients and emphasizes that if you don’t get the inner game right, you won't achieve your goals. He has his clients focus on getting the core habits down first.

Steven also finds that the clients that journal and commit to the inner work are often the most successful.

In closing, Heidi encourages people to say yes to themselves and embrace opportunities to learn and grow because other things in life start to open up.

For Heidi, the less energy she puts into her thoughts about food, her relationship with food, and her weight, the more energy she has to put into other areas of her life—which is a huge gift.


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Post-Production by: David Margittai | In Post Media

© 2023 Jared Hamilton



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