Rena Cohen – Cracking the Weight Loss Code

In this relatable episode, Rena Cohen, an experienced and registered dietitian, shares her journey and the creation of the Sanctuary Program. Rena highlights the program’s focus on gradual habit-based changes, addressing both the psychological and physiological aspects of sustainable weight loss, and how it empowers women to regain control over their relationship with food.

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Thanks for joining us today for the You World Order Podcast showcase. I'm really excited for today's episode. I am joined here with Rena Cohen. She is a behavior change coach with the sanctuary program and a registered dietician with over 17 years experience. So she knows what she’s talking about people.


And Rena, welcome.


Thank you. I'm so excited to be here and so excited to be chatting with you today.


I am too, and I'm just going to give you the platform and I want you to tell us your story and to where you got to here, where you came from. Everything about you. This is a show about what you're doing, and I can't wait to get this conversation started.


Awesome. I have like so much to share and let me go back to. It's crazy that I've been doing this for almost 18 years now. I graduated when my daughter was born and now she's turning 18. So it's like crazy that I've been doing this for so long. But as you said, I've been a registered dietitian now for.


For, you know, almost 18 years and I've worked on and off in terms of helping people lose weight doing the typical dietitian stuff, nutritional counseling, nutrition education. I've also spent some time working in the hospitals and doing a lot of clinical work. And when it came time to developing my program, so all along.


It was like.


People are so eager and so ready to lose weight, and it's something that they really struggle with. Figuring out how to implement the basic, you know, nutrition principles. That sounds really simple. Eat more of this. Eat less of this, stay in a calorie deficit. It sounds really simple, but what they were struggling with.


And what I was struggling with was how to implement these changes. There are so many people who.


Come to me on calls when I speak to them and say, you know, like I don't get it. I know exactly what I need to do. And every day I say I'm gonna start and I'm gonna change and I'm gonna go to the gym and I'm gonna do. I need to do. And lo and behold, the week goes by and I can't implement those changes like, what's wrong with me? And I'm.


Like there, there's nothing.


Wrong with anybody. That's there's. There's human nature that comes into play. But at the same time, I was like, how can I figure out how to better serve


Women, specifically my clients that are coming to me for help and support, because this is it's a huge struggle and what they then resort to very often is quick fixes diets that that offer a very kind of like you want to see results. You get results really quickly, but there's no way that you can maintain and sustain those very restrictive.


Practices so yes you can, you know, go and drink celery smoothies for two weeks and you'll probably lose weight. But the second you eat regular normal food again, everything's going to change and then the frustration sinks in again because it's like I don't understand what's wrong with me. There's something wrong with my body.


And so as timing had it and I decided I, I moved away from private practice and nutrition coaching for a couple of years while I worked.


In the hospital and just before COVID at a great time as well, I was like, I am going to further my learning and really gain an understanding of what it is that women specifically need to change their.


Lives and a lot of this learning happened on my own from my own personal experience. There were things about my physical appearance that I was like, not super happy with. I thankfully have four lovely healthy children, but all those pregnancies take a toll on your body and trying to lose the pre pregnancy lose the.


Baby, wait to get back to your pre pregnancy weight and then each time you hang on to a little 5 or 10 pounds more and it's like OK like hello I have 20-30 pounds to come.


Off and It's not, it's not coming off. And as I you know, after I had my 4th, I was like, OK, something here. I am a registered dietician. I myself don't feel like my body is reflecting all the nutrition that I'm putting into it all the time I'm spending in the gym like this was something I'm like. I need to make this my mission.


To figure this out for myself.


And then for others and I took courses. I challenged myself with a bunch of different things, different foods, trying different things. Kind of really figuring out, kind of what it was that the female or the woman body really needs to be able to, to change the way they look at food and then change the way their body.


Responds to that intake of food and with some courses I took, behavior change courses to really understand the mindset shifts that are necessary to be able to incorporate these changes and stick with them.


And through all of that learning, and through all of that understanding of really, I mean stuff that I find fascinating, most people don't. The biochemistry, metabolism, all of that stuff and really getting to the nitty gritty was like, OK, it is. I'm putting this into practice into what I've developed as my sanctuary, the sanctuary. It's a 12 week transformation program


The beauty of this program is that it gives everyone these specific action steps that are necessary to create the change in the short term. So in the short term, the goal is to lose.


Weight 100%.


That will happen, but then also how to understand what their body needs to be able to maintain that weight change


In the long term.


And so that's what's different from the work that I do and different than most diets. For example, women find it, I mean, relatively.


Easy or simple to follow a diet because there's very specific rules. OK, so I can't go out to eat, I cannot drink alcohol. I can't have carbs.


I can. I can stay within those.


Very tight boundaries for like a very short period of time. At the beginning they think. Yeah, I.


Can live my.


Life this way.


This is fine, I've.


Had people come to me say, you know what, I'm following this very specific.


Diet and we're invited out for.


You know a dinner party, but I'm just gonna bring my own food. Like, that's just how I'm going to stick to the rules. And again, that works really well in the short term, but it doesn't. It's not sustainable. And that's not something that you're eventually because of the psychology of the brain and the mind and how that, how that works.


Any kind of like very severe or rapid change is a threat to your sense of self. So it's.


You decide. One day I'm going to go to the gym six days a week and I'm going to cut out flour. I'm going to cut out sugar and your subconscious mind. The insides of your body and your being all of a sudden get like, Oh my gosh, we need to protect ourselves. This is not.


Going to be.


Safe something is happening and this is not where we want to go and eventually it's going to make that.


Make you become very difficult to continue following those actions because that's its way of protecting itself.


And so the once I was able to understand that and how the mind and how the body works both combined together like from a metabolic perspective and a psychologies perspective to really understand those changes is.


The way to go about doing things is not with that drastic all of a sudden overhaul of everything that you do. I'm cleaning your all the kitchen cupboards and I'm throwing away every.


Thing, but it's really about these small simple action steps, so it's really understanding what are the key simple weight loss. It's not easy by any means. Like I tell people it's not. It's not an easy process, but we can make it simple and in order to make it simple is that I've broken down the tasks that.


Women specifically need to focus on. It's not about doing more. It's not about working out harder. It's not about restricting yourselves more. It's about focusing on the tasks that are going to be your biggest levers of change and implementing those as habit changers.


And by being able to do that and the way I do that is in a slow and steady state. So we focus on two to three very doable habits each and every week of the program, simple things. And like I said, they might not be easy, but simple. So maybe let's work on incorporating.


Some more protein with your breakfast. That is a very simple action step and then we would come up with, OK, how can we implement that because that's the key.


that's missing in so many other programs and so many other diets. Is that understanding from what it is that you need to do and the implementation to get there. So it's focusing on that and focusing on the ability to understand how to implement habits within your lifestyle.


And as we do that slowly and slowly build on that.


Over the course of 12 weeks, we've just implemented 25 to 30 new habits that are unique to you.


So you know you're understanding. OK, I need to follow these habits. And this is the path that I want to continue.


On which is why.


12 Weeks. It's not a diet. It's an investment in yourself to change your lifestyle and understand how can I live a more balanced, a more healthy lifestyle that I can see myself doing over the next 20-30 years and working with women to create that change. I mean, I have many women.


Come to me in their 40s and 50s, who have been struggling with their weight for 30 or 40.


Years and it's like the struggle has been real for so long.


That once they're able to.


You know, it's not, not necessarily like break free from that struggle and understand why it's been a struggle.


It's like this sense of freedom, the sense of liberation from the constraints of constantly thinking.


about what can I eat? I have to eat the smallest amount possible. Then I have to stick to little morsels of food, because otherwise I'm going to gain weight. The fear of like of eating actual food and this is not indulging in sweets and desserts, it's actual food. But that fear that has been built up for so long and being able to reverse that and finally.


Understand. Like what constitutes A balanced diet for you specifically because every person is unique and I work with each person on a customized plan.


Provides the sense of a freedom of, of liberation, and a newfound enjoyment for other parts of your life because you're no longer held back by food and the limitations of food.


So I have women to come.


And be like I've stopped going out to parties or I've stopped going out with friends.


For dinner, because I wasn't able to control and have the discipline and the willpower needed to say no to alcohol or say no for desserts.


And as we reframe things and understand how to balance that and how to incorporate social events and life events and weekends within your lifestyle, it's like the ability to live your life again opens up these amazingly new possibilities that like.


I mean, people like and I love it and I'm happy that I've created this. People can't thank me enough. It's like not only have you changed the way my physical body.


It looks.


But you've changed the way I see food the way I can kind of, you know, plan for my life the way my partner sees me, the way the energy that I have with my kids, like they used to, I would come home from work. People, women, women specifically who are working full time come.


Home from work.


And you know, my kids are there and.


We have this double.


Loaded responsibility in the workforce and at home, but without fueling your body properly with the right nutriton.


Your body is drained of energy, drained of physical energy, drained of mental energy, drained of emotional energy because.


We're taking on.


Too much the nutrition is one piece of that and I focus on the nutrition and understanding. You know the right balance of each food for.


Each individual person, how much food the types of foods, the quantities of.


Food and then also focusing on some of the other lifestyle factors that can then be involved together with the food to really make you feel the best way possible. And these changes are phenomenal like it's, it's been even more than I've imagined and I knew for myself because I saw the changes within myself at a physical, emotional and.


And overall kind of, you know, like deep rooted level but being able to coach others and assist them to be able to create this change in themselves.


is amazing. It's been, it's been wonderful and I've been doing this the specific sanctuary program for the last three years and I can say like each and every month I learned something new about myself and the ability to see others change is amazing and it's like I'm excited to kind of like.


Bring it to others in the world because it's like the struggle takes such a toll on who you are as a person and then who you are to the people around you. And the more we can limit and reduce the.


I call it the noise, the noise that comes from not understanding what your body needs and the food, food and fuel sources that your body needs at so many levels, slowly, that noise level goes down. And when I ask women for feedback, you like, what is it that you think that changed so much about you they're like?


I don't even know.


I can't pinpoint it, but they're like, but I know I feel.


So much better.


And it's subtle. And what are my clients recently gave me an example. She's like. Normally, mornings are so chaotic, like, between kids getting to school and making lunches and packing bags and running out the door. She, like the mornings, are so chaotic. And, you know, there was one morning my husband took.


My car keys and I didn't have the car she's like. And two months ago I would have completely lost it, like blown up and gone crazy and.


This is, you know, oh, my gosh, you've ruined my day. I'm going to be late for work. And I would have hopped into work so stressed and so anxious and not being able to kind of contain myself and feeling like, you know, so, you know, antsy all day and she's like, and my reaction was totally different.


It was like.


OK, cool. How can we make this work differently? So you have my car keys and.


She's like and like I she said she was surprised at herself to be able to see that difference in her reaction. But the understanding of yourself and what you need to do extends to so many different parts of your being.


I wasn't surprised to hear this story. She was super surprised.


But it's just like.


Bringing an overall like down regulation to your whole body by reducing different hormones, different elements of your nervous system is all part of what I work on to help create this change and a huge part of that comes from nutrition. Huge part of that.


80% of this change in in any kind of change with your physical body comes from nutrition.


But it's your body learns and your body won't disappoint you. So by giving your body the right types of input coming from nutrition coming from stress management skills coming from lifestyle changes coming from mindset shifts.


Your body will, like I said, not let you down. Your body will respond in a way, being like, OK, we're safe. This is a great place for us and that that feedback loop that you then create extends to all these different parts of your.


Body so it's.


Honestly, as we work on.


That weight loss that that women have been struggling with for 20-30 years happens.


Almost by default, their body is in such a state that it's primed to lose weight, and it's like it's shocking because weights, 20 pounds, that have been struggling to come off, we're chipping away 1 to 2 pounds per week I don't expect.


Then I actually don't want more than that because then.


We can't be assured that that's fat loss. I don't. You can lose water weight really quickly. I want to focus in on fat loss and really make sure we're targeting fat within your body. That's been resistant that's been sitting there in belly fat specifically for women. And a lot of that comes from all the lifestyle management techniques.


Including adequate nutrition and proper fuel for your body, for your physical body to look and feel completely different over the course of the program. It's I can go on and on about this for so long because it's.


I love this made particularly.


Obviously, as a woman, I can resonate.


You know any of the women listeners can resonate as well, I for sure can say that.


Very, very confidently.


And I think what


What really connects with me is, you know, every word you were saying. I was like, yeah. And you probably saw me because we're looking at each other, where we're talking right now. So every time you.


Were saying something I was like.


Yeah, and I can relate. I think at some level, we're all on our different journeys and we all have different paths.


We all have different struggles.


And we'll have our different reasons why maybe we gain weight, can't lose weight and struggle. But the fact that matters. I think that most people can relate on some level to everything that you just said. And I and I love the dichotomy of the physical.


And the mental.


Because I myself and I've been in.


The fitness world and.


We talked about this a little bit.


Earlier, when we were chatting.


That, you know, I'm a personal trainer. I am an athlete. I've been an athlete since I'm young and I continued into my adult life. You know, obviously more limitations.


As we get older.


But I know. And you said it. You're like, I know what to do. I know exactly what I could do. Why can't I do it? And sometimes we get in.


You know, we get in our own way. Do you find that especially nowadays


The difficulty with.


You know, the clients that come to you and say, like, I feel like I know what I need to do, but there's so much information out there. There's so many different people saying different things.


And yes, if I do ABC program, I can lose an enormous amount of weight, which is great because we're human beings, and human beings innately want instant gratification on every level of life, not just with weight loss. It's everything, right, I think you.


Get it right.


So that's appetizing and that's you know, OK, that's what I want. But then understanding what you had said, which is very powerful is the sustainability and to be able to.


Yes, maybe I need to lose.


A large amount of weight.


But I also.


Really want it to stay off.


And that up and down.


Is so mentally exhausting. Do you find that a lot of clients come to you and are like, I feel like I know what to do.


But this person says I should do this and that person says I should do that. And that person says I should do this like which? How can you be comfortable with?


Path to go down.


100% and I do hear that lot like that's actually a really a really good question and an important part of why I've done what I have done with this program because they're so I find more so now than before. There's so much nutrition information out there. Every influencer on Instagram is like, try these.


You know, some kind of like apple cider vinegar gummies.


Try this if you.


Only try this, your life will change and you.


Will your body


Your waist will just all of a sudden shrink and you'll get that beautiful hourglass figure that you always want it. Everyone is a self-proclaimed expert, especially when it comes to nutrition, and I find that.


I was, you know, five years ago, I was in every what the same shoes here I was. OK let me navigate and figure out. Let me pretend I'm not a professional. I know everything about nutrition and about macro nutrients and all of that. But if I'm you know Newbie into the world of sort of figuring out here I am I want to understand what's going to effectively change.


My body the most and you know, try to look through some of the stuff and the stuff that's out there on social media.


Yeah. And I did a bit of evaluation on that. I'm like, OK, let me understand this from a deep rooted sort of Physiology perspective, a metabolic perspective. I'm like nothing about that makes sense. And there there's a couple of things that are that are really important #1. There's never going to be one specific thing, only thing that if you do this one thing.


You are going to see results in all areas. It's not magical like that and I think like you said, it's the marketing


The interest in sort of very quick fixes and so people then see, OK, but the end result is not. So they promise you'll be down, you know, 5 pounds in two weeks. Yes, the scale will probably come down 5 pounds in two weeks, but what is that? The scale is also it's you know how your body is resisting.


Gravity. That's one number. So if you lose a ton of fluid and a ton of water, and you've really limited your carbohydrate intake and your fat cells shrink slightly.


Your scale weight is going to come down, but yes, OK, so I've achieved my goal. Yes, like I've really won. But you haven't because there's so many other factors that are then you have zero energy. You feel like you've been, like, starving yourself all week. So moving away from, yes, the end result is weight loss. And you want that number on the scale to come down. But there's so very many ways to go about doing that.


And that's the differentiation between understanding kind of.


These quick fixes and how to prevent sort of as you said the yo-yo dieting the yo-yo dieting is not only super frustrating, it really takes a huge toll on your metabolism and your metabolic rate and we as women hear so much about my metabolism is broken. I just can't do this.


There is and there's not necessarily like there is.


Some truth.


To that, in the sense of like the constant weight fluctuations will take a toll on your metabolism.


And it will. And so the big part of a big part of my program is #1 understanding how can we fire up your metabolism? Again, if you're a woman coming to me with a history of dieting for the last 30 years, we're going to have to do some repair on building back your metabolism and figuring out how can we improve this. And honestly, the things that may have.


Worked for you in your 20s are no longer going to work for you when you're in your 40s because your body is in a very different place and hormones are in a very different.


place. So.


People talk about all the time like ohh all my all my tricks and all my usual stuff that used to work for me or that I could get my weight back down after my.


Last child.


I don't.


Now I'm trying them and they're just not working and your body is #1 very smart. So it's already adapted to those changes. So it's like, no, we know what's happening here, and we're not going to go for it.


So we're not going to make this, we're not going to respond to this change anymore. Plus it's the difference in your body from a 20 or 25 year old to a.


40 and 45 year old.


A lot of those changes are no longer going to work for you and we have to work to figure out, well then, what is your body going to respond to be able to adjust and see the changes that you're hoping for and not just kind of go by default. Ohh my body is broken. I don't know what else to do because I mean the literature.


Actually shows us that.


Women I know, I know. When I turned 40.


Many of my friends and colleagues were like gonna just.


Weight like you're


You're going to see the weights going to come on. It just magically the second you turned 40, everything changes and soon after that I.


Think was about.


Two years ago, with study came out where they.


Looked at they.


Followed people's metabolism, children, men, women over the course of their lifetime.


It's a really long kind of longitudinal study.


That they looked.


And surprisingly enough, what they found out was that women's metabolic rate does not change until at least the age of 60. So it's there's a steady increase up until from childhood to about teenage years. It's kind of increasing steadily until around the age of 20, where it stays relatively stable. There are a bunch of things that we can do.


And that includes nutrition strength training, different workouts, different types of fuel to be able to improve your metabolic rate and your metabolic rate. Is that the baseline measurement of what your body burns at rest to keep all your systems going.


That continues kind of relatively steady beyond the age of 40 beyond the age of 50.


At the age of 60, they started to see very slight declines in the metabolic rate, and that was actually an adaptive mechanism because if you think about her woman at the age of 60 starting to slow down a little bit, hopefully they're still moving, walking, doing some light resistance training.


But it has to. It's a it's an adaptive mechanism to prevent their body from burning too much and then utilizing some of their own body stores.


So it's like, OK.


Again, the body is so smart, like the way it's been created is so phenomenal and so smart. It's like OK, now we know that.


Things are going to start slowing down. We're going to be moving less at the age of 60. Very often people's appetite declines a little bit, so they eat a little bit less. So the body knows, OK, at that stage in life, your body doesn't know when you turn 60. But based on all the other chemical signals and hormonal signals that it's getting, it knows.


Let's down regulate a little bit so that we can protect ourselves and prevent ourselves from, you know, like burning too many calories and then becoming frail. And especially for women, you want to protect your muscle mass, your bone mass as you go beyond the age of 60, doing whatever you can to be able to ensure that.


You don't have brittle bones. You don't have fractures if you fall.


You know you don't just automatically break a hip because all of that is your body's way again of protecting itself and ensuring that you can improve and increase your health and longevity. So that's a long winded answer to your question. But yeah, yo-yo dieting is.


Is a huge struggle, and again, that's part of the perspective and the mindset shift is that focusing on so many other wins, which I do in my program.


Other than the scale, the fixation on the scale and it's the easiest, simplest thing.


It's a quick.


Quick thing I get on the scale numbers down. Great. I'm gonna have an amazing day. Today's gonna be the most wonderful day I get on the scale. The numbers up. I'm such a failure. What did I do wrong? What's wrong with me? And it's like.


That that define who you are and what your day's going to be like by a number, then sets you up for like, forget it. I'm just. I'm done with this diet. This diet isn't working. I've gained 2 pounds.


Today, when you understand what factors influence the scale, and that's what I go through my program as well, how kind of, you know, if you've had a poor night's sleep, for example, the scale is going to be at because your body's hanging on to fluid as a result of cortisol. And there's increased stress, your skill is going to be up. But if you're on a very restrictive diet and you're either.


All in or all out. You're like I'm done. This isn't working. I'm over. I can't do anything. I'm just a failure. Everything I suck at everything that I do and my life is just, you know, I can't.


Change this anymore. And so when we focus on that shifting in perspective and I focus on.


Wins. Other wins. What are things that you can be you are thankful for today. And I have my woman. My clients start a gratitude diary. What are three things that you're thankful for today? And it's that rewiring of your brain and giving again that that that stimulus to your brain.


The focus.


On even simple positive things, you know what? Today it's raining. It's the first day that it's that. It's sunny here. Sorry. It's sunny. It's been raining the last three days. I'm so thankful that it's sunny and the mere fact of registering that positive thought in your brain on a consistent basis changes the wiring of your brain.


And changes your ability to see yourself differently as well as food and people in your lives and stress factors and all of that, and that is.


A longer term process and like you said, many people are afraid of that and I won't. I won't work with everybody if someone's coming to me and say I need to lose 10 pounds in the next two weeks because my child's getting married like that's not. That's not the work that I do.


And so it's that shift in perspective being like, yes, I am finally ready to take this on for the long term because it's the long term result that it's like and we focus on that where do you want to be in 12 weeks, how do you see?


Yourself in 12.


Weeks and the effort in the short term, yes, it may involve a little bit more than a.


Quick fix.


If you go for some of those quick fixes, you will be back. I guarantee you'll be back in the same spot versus trying something different and really investing in it for the.


Long term, compared 12 weeks you will be at a much better place 12 weeks ahead than had you.


Tried three or four quick.


Fixes in 12 weeks and still been back to where you were where you started. So it's again that shift in mindset and really understanding. I'm finally ready to make this change because.


I know that in 10/20, thirty years from now, I no longer want to be suffering and struggling with these same issues.


Yeah, I love that connection with the long term.


With other aspects of your life.


Because we as a society, as women we connect.


Our physical bodies and the way that we feel.


to so many


Things in our.


Lives and you are right, it will. It will it.


Would set off.


The day a certain way.


So I personally try not to get on the scale.


Because I.


Just you know, I try to just live one day at a time and try.


And just make good choices.


But I we all get in those.


Positions and we all have, you know, events to.


Go to and.


We all have, you know, I have three teenagers, so it's very, very difficult when three teenagers.


Are OK to live on


Chips and cookies and chocolate and cereal.


And you know.


Microwavable things and all. All things that are, you know, quick and easy. And I try to make good meals, but it's difficult, you know, the way the way society is, the way family set up, you know, working.


Putting that so it's like do I have the time? Do you find that a lot of your clients are struggling with some sort of deeper issue that's preventing them


From creating these habits, which then in turn is possibly creating weight gain.


Uh, yes, yes they are. And that's a really important piece too. So before I did my, I didn't go back for enough in my in my schooling before my degree in food and nutrition. I have a Bachelor of Science in psychology, so I have a Bachelors of Science and psychology and a Bachelor of Applied.


Science in food and nutrition.


The combination of those two degrees, I actually never thought that I would be using both of them. I did my Bachelors of Science because.


It was like.


A very general degree, and I figured I'd be able to use that kind of going forward into a masters or something else, and then I came across the field of nutrition I was like, oh, this is what I want to do. And as I started delving more.


Into behavior change and understanding the psychology behind things and the reasons why we do things and the behaviors that we, you know, engage.


And I was like ohh psychology.


And food and nutrition.


It's all part of the same thing, so 100% and a big piece of where many people struggle is a lot of a lot of the ease and access to certain food items are a way to perhaps repress or avoid.


Feelings on certain aspects of themselves or of their.


Day that you.


Know they don't like the way.


It feels there's.


Feelings are there. We label them as positive or negative, but there's certain feelings that you know. Ohh something I feel something and I don't like what it feels like. And then you know what? But if I go and sit down in a big bowl of popcorn in front of the TV.


When I watch Netflix, that kind of starts to feel better. And so we think that that's, you know, part of self-care.


Or whatever we're.


Going to call it, but.


Again, the more kind of understood how this works and how your body responds to things is that there is this. Perhaps it was a feeling of stress or sadness or some kind of feeling that got repressed. And it's not like, you know, over long periods of time. But it's you feel maybe you felt a little bit nervous about a presentation at work the next day.


So I'm going to make myself feel better and I'm going to have some chocolate.


And it feels a little bit better.


But how about instead of having chocolate or using something to further push that feeling down below within you, we actually feel that feeling.


And you explore that feeling. What? What am I so stressed about? What am I nervous about? My presentation? Really. Explore that. I would have my woman, you know, do journaling about specific things in their lives that are causing them stress, that ability to actually feel that feeling and understand that feeling.


And then release that feeling in a very positive and kind of like effective way is also so freeing. So it's like.


Yes, women have.


I as.


Well, have built up years of feelings, thoughts, even coming from childhood of stuff that you know have been repressed very low beneath our subconscious level. And they've been repressed and they keep getting repressed because we don't like to feel those feelings and we don't want to explore those feelings.


But the difference between like further repressing some of those feelings and the reasons behind why we can't make changes is going to continue to hold you back to be unable to make changes versus act.


Bringing those feelings up. OK, let me explore and understand and try to understand. You may not understand. Let me just explore and feel this stress. Let me feel this sadness and be like you know, what does this sadness remind you of? And sometimes it's sadness. So I had one client who was who was a male actually. And he remembers being.


A child and going back, like in his maybe he was like an early teen like 10 to 14 years old.


And being away at summer camp and like that was the time in the.


Evenings, he felt.


Lonely because he was homesick and he was away at camp and he felt lonely and his parents packed him like all parents do, you know, whole snack box, full of snacks and full of stuff. And he's like, and every night I would sit on my bed and cry and eat my snacks.


Because I felt lonely and I.


Felt I missed my home and I missed my family and I miss my parents and he never, ever associated that feeling with his feeling. Now where after dinner time, he's like, I don't know why I can't stop myself from going to the kitchen and I just like I try and I may do it for one night.


But then the next day I'm just like.


It's like the kitchen is like magnetizing me in like I can't stay away from those evening snacks and like.


For me, I said OK, let's explore that a.


Little bit, let's kind of see where that's.


Coming from.


How old is the version of you that's going to the kitchen every single night to get a snack and.


He's like.


I don't know like 12. OK, how was that?


12 year old version of you, feeling he's like.


And that's when the story came out that he was his 12 year old lonely kid at camp. He was unhappy. He was super homesick. And he, you know, his parents sent him to camp and he would eat snacks every night. And that habit stuck with him. So his again brain and body connection was like when you're feeling sad and when you're feeling lonely.


Snacks are going to pick you up and they're going.


To make you feel.


A little bit better and it's.


He was like, I never put that all together. And so he was like, I don't understand why I can't not go to the kitchen and not have the snacks. Realizing the connection between what, that every time he went to the kitchen for a snack, that feeling of sadness and feeling of loneliness was getting further pushed and further repressed down into the subconscious level.


Analyzing it and really looking at these feelings and like becoming friends with these feelings is a huge part of the process. It's OK to feel sadness. We've labeled sadness as negative. It might not feel good.


But it's OK.


To feel these feelings and when you feel these feelings and then fully understand them and bring them up to the surface and release them. Yes, that feeling is this huge freedom and then it's way less of a struggle to want to do and change habits because you.


Understand what needs to be done to change that and no longer kind of keep feeding into them, like literally and figuratively. It might not even be with food, but.


Whatever tactic that you have to kind of repress that feeling, the more you do it, the harder it is to going to change that habit and do something that you want to do so badly.


But you just can't do it.


So there's a.


Huge psychological component to behavior change and understanding where that's coming from the subconscious level and tapping into that. And if not everybody's at like, you know, such a deep level like it's it doesn't have to.


Be that, but it's actually which is different. Looking at the feeling it's like.


Analyzing it from all angles, which is which is different than what very many people are used to, but it's also super rewarding and.


Life changing the information that you learn about yourself is incredibly amazing.


Yeah. I truly believe that the and it's fascinating the connection with the with the mind and the body and it's really, really great that you've connected the two from your experience and your education to create a space for people to find answers and to kind of maybe conquer some things that have been going on.


Inside of them to create a positive road, that they can a positive path that they can now go down. How can people get in touch with you? Because I feel like so many people that are listening can resonate with what you're doing and what you're saying today.


Yeah, my. So, I mean, I have a couple. I'm on social media, so I am on Instagram at the sanctuary Rd. All my information is on my website. So that's a really easy place to get in touch with me. People can e-mail me. You can find my application to book a free assessment call to understand if the sanctuary would be a good fit for you. And my website is.


Www dot sanctuarycoaching dot ca so its ca not com, which is a common mistake because I'm in Canada, so it's www dot sanctuarycoaching dot ca.


All the information is there linked to all my socials. Are there links to my application and to e-mail me even if you have questions. I love answering questions. I just love hearing where people are struggling. You know, really understanding kind of helps me better suit my group of people, my community by understanding.


What are the specific struggles that you need? So any questions e-mail me you can send me a DM on Instagram and I would be more than happy to explain and go into any more detail of anything that.


We chatted about today.


I love it and I think that everybody who's listening right now needs to get in touch with Rena because, you know, I for one, can resonate and connect with everything that we discussed today. So I know that that's a majority, if not all, on some level. So thank you so much for joining us today. It's been absolutely fascinating.


Learning the scientific part of it, and it's a nice change to just these marketing.


You know, kind of programs that are out there and it's and it's a, it's refreshing. So I really appreciate you coming on today.


You too. I'm so happy that you had me here and I loved our conversation as well. So nice to chat.


Great. Thank you so much.

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