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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

Overcome Your Emotions & CRUSH Your Weight Loss ft. Ryan Kassim | Dieting from the Inside Out Ep.237

About this Episode:

In this episode, we talk to a good friend of mine, Ryan Kassim.

We cover a lot in this episode, but one of the things we spent some time on is a topic that I’m really into right now, and that is equanimity, when to use that in weight loss, and how to manage ambitions and expectations on your weight loss journey. We also talk about your inner game and how it applies to weight loss and your relationship with food. I love having Ryan on the show because he and I can explore a lot of useful topics for our listeners without a rigid agenda. I know you’ll enjoy and get a lot out of the variety of topics we cover in today’s episode.


00:00 - Introduction

01:45 – Our sponsors

04:48 – About today's episode

06:32 – Catching up with Ryan

11:43 – About Ryan Kassim

15:40 – Awareness and balancing mental health with goals

26:20 – Anticipatory anxiety

34:12 – Finding peace in weight loss

01:02:00 – Catching up on Jared's personal weight loss journey

01:08:33 – Closing thoughts and how to sign up for coaching

Episode Transcript (click to expand)

Episode Synopsis

Catchup with Ryan:

Ryan had been living in New York City for the past two years, and with his lease ending, he took the opportunity to assess whether or not he loved where he lived, if he was happy in that environment, and if he wanted to stay.

Ultimately, while there were aspects of New York that he loved, the high-stress atmosphere wasn’t right for him, so he moved back to Connecticut.

Ryan plans to do a West Coast tour, where he will stay for one to two months in different cities to find where he wants to plant roots. It was Ryan’s original goal when he started online coaching to be able to work from anywhere, so with this west coast tour, he will be achieving one of his long-term goals.

About Ryan:

Ryan has been a personal trainer, nutrition coach, health, and wellness coach for close to 10 years. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island and had sought a career in health administration but struggled to find employment. He started working as a personal trainer and over time discovered that mental health is an extremely important aspect of fitness.

As Ryan puts it, when you have a strong behavioral and mental foundation, it only adds to your physical foundation. He came to this realization after about 4 years in the fitness and health industry.

At his lowest point, he struggled with depression and anxiety, despite being in the best shape of his life. He began going to therapy, which he has continued for 5 years.

Going through therapy has changed his life, his actions, his thoughts, communication, how he interacts with others, and how he coaches.

In his coaching career, Ryan goes beyond calories in and calories out and puts a focus on mental health and its impact on your weight loss journey.

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach Ryan Kassim and his quote about the importance of self-compassion during weight loss.
"If you're really trying to find peace and get in a groove during weight loss, you have to develop empathy for yourself." - Ryan Kassim

Awareness and Balancing Mental Health with Goals:

Ryan believes that developing the balance between achieving your goals and focusing on your mental health starts with awareness.

Many people struggle to understand themselves and appropriately identify and understand their emotions and their triggers. With each of his clients, Ryan spends the first few months helping them gain awareness, identifying who they are, what triggers them, recognizing, understanding, and working through their emotions.

For clients and individuals who focus on things like cutting out various foods or nutrients, Ryan wants to help them understand that this is an avoidance tactic. Avoidance is a sign of anxiety, and the cutting out of one thing may help you work toward your goal—or not—but without working on the root of the problem, you’ll constantly be looking for the next thing to distract you.

As Ryan says, if you’re sick, you can treat symptoms, but ultimately you need to find out what is wrong, and it’s the same in health and wellness. Reexamination of yourself and your goals is vital.

Something both Ryan and Jared notice amongst their clients is that the ones who are very focused on the goal of weight loss, who want to rush past the phase of dieting from the inside out—the mental health game—tend to struggle to achieve the weight loss they desire, while the clients who are willing to let go of their weight loss goal and work on improving their mental health and their relationship with food wind up being the most successful.

Doing both mental work and weight loss at the same time is possible, but it takes full commitment to both goals, and it’s important to understand that you don’t have to do it all at once.

Ryan often helps his clients come to understand that it’s okay to be at a maintenance level with your diet, working on strength, getting healthy, and reflecting inwards, building a solid foundation for you to achieve that long-term weight loss goal.

People often operate under the assumption that weight loss is good and weight loss is progress, when in reality, maintenance is progress too. Sometimes eating a pizza is progress, sometimes not eating a pizza is progress, and different seasons of your life require different phases.

Jared Hamilton of the Dieting From The Inside Out Podcast with his quote about using fear for good in life.
"Fear can be a great emotion to cause you to double-check your actions, but if your life is predicated on fear—we have a problem." - Jared Hamilton

Anticipatory Anxiety:

Ryan believes that anticipatory anxiety—anticipating events that haven’t happened yet—is a huge hurdle many people face.

For example, you just started a diet and already think you will fuck up on that diet. Learning to recognize and reframe those anticipatory thoughts is key in one’s weight loss journey.

Anticipatory anxiety may occur because of ingrained habits and thought patterns that you’ve had for a long time.

To combat this, you need to reframe your thoughts, recognize that you are in control in this moment, and get away from worrying about the future and focus on the present.

Clients need to be careful with reframing as it can also change positive situations into negative situations because of your ingrained thought patterns.

For example, if your measurements go down but your weight remains level, you may mistake this for a lack of progress, however, measurements decreasing while your weight remaining the same is a great place to be. Therefore, learning who you are, recognizing your thought patterns, and working on appropriately reframing your thoughts is vital to anyone trying to lose weight.

Not working on reframing your thought patterns is what gets someone caught in cycles of yo-yo dieting and self-inflicted mental abuse for years.

Finding peace in weight loss:

When Ryan imagines someone who is starting a weight loss journey, he imagines someone who is on high alert—there are many internal issues that person is facing, on top of the goal of losing weight. To find peace during this process, one thing you need is empathy.

Developing empathy for yourself means giving yourself grace, understanding, and forgiveness.

Clients will often feel anxiety about small mistakes—or not being 100% perfect—when releasing those feelings would be more productive. This comes back to the idea of equanimity and being unconcerned about the timeline of your weight loss and understanding that this is a journey that doesn’t need to be completed by a certain date.

Coming to emotional neutrality in your weight loss journey starts with understanding the process and understanding yourself. Once you understand the physical and emotional process, you can take the emotions out of it. If the scale spikes but you understand why the scale fluctuates, you can prevent yourself from negative emotional reactions, and sit with that situation. If you can’t sit with yourself, and your emotions, you can’t overcome them.

Ryan and Jared believe that for a client who wants to lose weight, knowing yourself and understanding how you’re reacting to things—noticing you’re anxious, questioning why you are feeling a certain way, why you are making or about to make a bad decision—will afford you the opportunity to stop yourself and work through your emotions.

Ryan often notes that taking a moment to just breathe and listen to your breath gives you the space to calm down, realize you’re okay, and that you are in control at this moment.

It’s important to not judge your thoughts or emotions—just let yourself think and feel—and let them pass.

When we acknowledge our emotions and let them sit without judgment, we can learn to let them come and go. Sometimes an emotion, like anxiety, will attack you, but when you face and acknowledge your emotions, even when they are overwhelming, you can understand that those emotions will come and they will go.

Jared and Ryan also want clients to understand that negative emotions have a place and can be helpful. A little discomfort and fear can help you start or work towards a goal, or double-check your actions, but you must find a balance between letting go of and embracing those emotions.

Fear can trigger action—like if a doctor tells you that your cholesterol is too high—that fear lets you know it’s time to make a change. When your entire life is predicated on fear, however, you end up attracting more into your life and becoming imprisoned by your fears and negative emotions.

Ensuring that you don’t become trapped by your fears means understanding your intentions for your weight loss journey and how your goals and intentions evolve over time. When you find yourself caught in a constant anxious state, it’s important to take a moment to assess your intentions so you can allow yourself to keep progressing.

Catch up on Jared’s Weight Loss:

A while back, Jared noticed that he was having an issue with his weight loss. He was having to cut his calories very low, despite his activity level. So, Jared went to have his hormones tested and found out his testosterone had tanked. He wasn’t looking or feeling good, so he started taking low doses of (doctor prescribed) TRT. He is now losing fat and gaining muscle again. He’s still using his CPAP machine, but is hopeful that he has found a way to eventually get himself off it.


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Post-Production by: David Margittai | In Post Media


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