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Ep. 33: Changing Your Body Won’t Make You Happy, but Changing Your Patterns Will with Katy Saltsman

What are the changes you can make in your life to improve your health and happiness?


In this episode of the Love Your Gut Podcast, I talk to Katy Saltsman about finding our healthiest selves by changing our patterns, combatting diet messaging, and creating healthy goals around food.


Katy Saltsman Is a certified nutrition coach, personal trainer, and podcaster. She is the host of the Crying Burns Calories podcast, where she teaches women how to take back control of their health, mindset, and happiness. Katy is on a mission to change the conversation around health for women through her acclaimed one-on-one coaching programs designed to put women In control of their health and fitness.



Topics Covered in This Episode:


  • [03:43] The cultural perception of “healthy”
  • [05:38] Why do so many struggle with body image?
  • [07:35] Combatting diet messaging.
  • [11:29] Creating goals around food.
  • [14:13] Respecting your body through the changes.
  • [22:11] What holds us back from focusing on the future?
  • [26:45] Tuning in to our body cues.

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  • Change the conversation from weight and diets to goals and connection


Connect with Katy:


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  • “In the pursuits of our healthiest self, we run into the unhealthiest version of us.”
  • “We think that we will get there when our body changes.”
  • “It’s not about what you can take away. It’s about adding in to feel good.”
  • “Your worth Is so much more than your weight or what diet you’re on.”


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Dr. Heather Finley, Katy Saltsman

Katy Saltsman  00:00

I think the biggest thing I learned is that changing my body will not make me happy but changing my patterns.

Dr. Heather Finley  00:09

Well. Hey, welcome to the love your gut podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Heather Finley, I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to love my gut when all it does is hold me back. I thought the same thing before I found my own relief from my own gut health issues. I dedicated my life to getting to the bottom of my own gut issues, so I can help women just like you transformed theirs. Now I’m here to guide you through your own gut health journey. We do this through identifying your root causes and making sustainable and transformational changes. As a result, you can unleash your true potential. My goal is to empower you with the information and tools you need to love your gut. So it loves you back right here on this podcast.

Dr. Heather Finley  00:53

Welcome back to the next episode of the love you got podcast. I am so excited today to be joined by Katie, we met originally last October actually at an event that our mutual friend Kaylee ran. And it was so great hearing her talk all about body image. And so I decided I have to have her on the show to talk about body image because I know so many of you listening not only struggle with digestive issues, but also struggling to just love your body with where it’s at and struggling with the ups and downs of the bloating and the symptoms that you’re having on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. And navigating this can be really challenging. So Katie, welcome to the show.

Katy Saltsman  01:33

Thank you so much for having me. I cannot wait to just foreign to everybody listening.

Dr. Heather Finley  01:40

Awesome. Well, why don’t you just give us an overview of your story and why you do what you do now and how you work with women? Yeah, absolutely.

Katy Saltsman  01:50

So my name is Katie Saltzman, I’m a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I have a podcast called Crying Burns Calories. And I want to be able to teach women that their health is so much more than just physical, it’s mental, physical and emotional. And my biggest goal is to teach women how to take back control of their health and happiness. I think so often, we’re approaching it with his band aid approach of just dieting and physical and shrinking our bodies. And it’s so much more than that. It’s addressing it from all aspects and really regaining this like love and respect, like women were just incredible, and our bodies are incredible. And the more we can reconnect to them and learn, the better body image we have, the better self worth that we have. And that’s my goal for women is to have nothing to hold them back in life to where they can really step into their happiest and healthiest self. And obviously I got there by going through that phase in my life and coming from a trainer background, and addressing you know, only from diets and macros and doing all the wrong things. And understanding that when I was at like the peak physical shape as a trainer and doing the most I had the worst body image and I hated the way that I looked and I had social anxiety and I wouldn’t go out I would cancel plans. I hated the way I looked and clothes no matter what my body size was. and I had to really take a step back and understand that this isn’t healthy. This isn’t how health should be addressed. And so often in the pursuit of our healthiest self, we run into the unhealthiest version of us. And that was really the biggest part of my story. And the biggest turning point in my life where I decided if I can change because I was so broken. And if I can change and feel this good. It’s my life’s mission to teach other women how to do that.

Dr. Heather Finley  03:38

I love that it’s so inspiring. And you said something that I hear a lot is, we’ll hear clients say, Well, I’m the friend that everyone thinks is the quote unquote, healthiest yet, why do I still have all of these issues? I you know, I’m the person waking up at 5am to go running and I’m the person that has the most restricted diet thinking that that’s a good thing. And I do all the quote unquote, right things, but I feel the worst that I ever have. And I’m struggling with all these digestive symptoms. So tell us a little bit more about that. And why do you think we have this cultural perception of like, what’s the quote unquote healthiest and and why it’s not?

Katy Saltsman  04:18

I think we we think the healthiest is a body size, and we think the healthiest is what we can restrict the most of and to me healthy really starts as a mindset. It’s never addressed that way. And it’s understanding that we’ve been conditioned this way we’ve been conditioned from when we were younger, with magazines with SlimFast with America’s Next Top Model, whatever it might be to critique our bodies to be hard on ourselves. If we want to look a certain way. We need to eat less, we need to move our body more. We need to do all of these things that take away from our body. And I’m not against I mean, I’m not on the full blown Intuitive Eating world where we can’t have any body goals. I’m okay with having

Katy Saltsman  05:00

Making body goals and wanting to feel better in our body, but also that comes with our mental health as well. And understanding that in order to find our healthiest self, that will never click will never be able to step into that version of us. When everything we’re doing takes away from our body, we’re able to step into that version of us, when everything we’re doing is giving back to our body giving back to our life giving back to our health, that’s where the shift starts to come. I love

Dr. Heather Finley  05:25

that. And so you alluded to this a little bit earlier with like SlimFast, and America’s Next Top Model. And that was definitely the generation that I grew up in. And you did as well. But I guess it kind of elaborating on that. Why do you think so many women struggle with body image because to be honest, I would be surprised if anybody listening to this had never struggled with their body image at any point in their life.

Katy Saltsman  05:48

I think a lot of it is just conditioning. And I mean, I grew up like I love my parents, I love my mom, she did the best that she could, but it was the it was what she knew. I wanted the cabbage soup diet with my mom when I was like 12 years old and didn’t need to lose a single pound. But I wanted the cabbage soup diet, thinking that was a healthy thing to do. So we had all of these really unhealthy, unhealthy things that were thrown at us that we thought were healthy. And that just developed is like this is healthy, this is ideal. This is how we should look. And we’ve really tied our body image and our self worth solely to the way that we look. Instead of who we are as a person and what we offer this world and our amazing personality and sense of humor and how good of a friend we are and how we show up for people and our goals and our dreams and our big visions, we’ve almost dumbed ourselves down to a body size. And that really breaks my heart for women because I do consultations all the time, with women joining my coaching or my programs. And the one thing I ask them is like when was the last time you felt really good in your body or tell me a little bit about your body image. And 100% of the time, women say they struggle, they’ve never felt that way they can’t remember the last time they felt happy, healthy and confident. You have to understand these are words that like that is healthy, feeling happy, feeling confident, feeling good in your body, that it should be just as important as wanting to be able to lose weight, or whatever it might look like but we just don’t, we’re so hyper focused on a body size, and that determining our worth, that we have been so closed off the understanding that our worth is so much more.

Dr. Heather Finley  07:28

Yeah, and that’s a really hard, a hard thing to grasp, especially depending on who you’re hanging around. So I know many of the women we work with, and probably the women that you work with as well, like they want to feel good in their bodies, they want to feel confident, but they’re surrounded by so much messaging that it makes it really hard because every person they know is starting a new diet or a new thing. And it’s hard to not want to go back to that. So what what do you what suggestions do you have for someone that like, actually wants to make a change in how they feel about themselves and how they feel about their body? Without going down the road that has never worked for them before?

Katy Saltsman  08:12

Yeah, there’s a couple of different ways you need to address it. Number one is setting proper boundaries in your life and understanding that like, are there like what’s your social media feed like? Or what are your friends like? What is your you’re the closest people you surround yourself with not saying that you need to go cut everyone out of your life. But we all have toxic things, or people in our life that are very triggering for us, or that are adding to the problem. And if it’s something that we’re spending a lot of time on, whether it’s scrolling, whether it’s every time we go out to eat with a certain person, all we talk about is dieting. Those things are really tough, right? So it’s understanding that you have to figure out what boundaries are comfortable for you in your life. For me, it was a complete social media cleanse. And for me, it was getting out of training in a big box gym because it’s just like, riddled with competition and comparison. And that was a really unhealthy environment. For somebody that struggled with disordered eating and body image. I had to get out of that environment and just shift that one. And the second thing is is how you’re addressing your life and building yourself up. Typically, from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we go to bed at night, we have negative thoughts about ourselves running through our head day after day. And that’s all there is. And in order to start to shift that we start to need some some positive reinforcement, some positive thoughts and, yeah, do I think affirmations are helpful? Absolutely. But I think action with affirmations is a lot more powerful. So how are you showing up for yourself in your life? When was the last time that you did things that gave you joy that you dance that you had fun? You connected with your body? One of the big questions I asked women in my small group and I think it throws a lot of them off because you know I’m a nutritionist and I’m a personal trainer and they think like health goals all the time. But when was the last time that you set a goal that had nothing to do with your body? If at all, most women can’t answer that, you know, it’s like, what? What lights you up? What’s fun? You know, I had that question asked for me, and I truly couldn’t answer it. And the last time I think I shared this, that when I was speaking on stage, but the last time I could remember having fun or doing something like that was dancing. So I like joined a beginner Hip Hop course in my 30s. And I made a fool of myself, but I lacked and I grew. And these are the situations that we stay away from that bring growth and that help us become stronger as women and determine our worth and take not take ourselves so seriously. But we stay away from it in the pursuit of weight loss. And that’s all we’re gonna get is this obsession with the pursuit of weight loss if we don’t start to create these other memories in our

Dr. Heather Finley  10:45

life? I love that. And it’s so powerful to think of it that way. And you mentioned a little while ago, but I wanted to kind of tie this in with digestive health as well, you said, I am not full blown intuitive eating, it’s okay to have body goals. So a lot of our clients, you know, they they struggle with bloating, or constipation, or diarrhea or acid reflux, whatever it is, and so not going all the way to intuitive eating and saying, like, just eat what sounds good. And like that doesn’t work for them at this moment because of the symptoms that they’re having. And so it’s this fine line of, they have to be somewhat mindful of what they’re eating and be aware. What’s your experience? Or what’s your recommendation for? How do you do that without being paranoid about food? And how do you have goals around like, the foods that you want to eat? And how you want to feel yourself without going the complete extreme?

Katy Saltsman  11:44

That’s a really good question. And I think because there is extremes on both ends, and it’s a fine line for a lot of women, it’s like, I want to feel better. But I will not do that. If I have to gain weight. Right? There’s this obsession with weight gain. And I see that a lot with women not so much with gut health, but women that have been under fueling their body for so long. Where there’s no calories to cut, right there. We can’t do that we have to go through a reverse diet. If we want to optimize their metabolism, they want to be able to build lean muscle and they want to have energy every single day, there’s going to be an element, they say I call it a calibration period, where weight loss cannot be your goal. It doesn’t mean that it’s not the end goal. Like obviously, you want to feel better in your body. But for that moment, what can we focus on to shift the focus and also understanding that when it comes to any any sort of pillar of health stress is a massive one. And if you’re obsessing and stressing about that all the time, it’s going to make a huge difference, which is where I really like to focus on what we’re adding into our meals, like, how many colors can we get on our plate, I do the rule of three with my clients. And it might look different working with a gut health client, because you have to be more specific. But the rule of threes three meals a day, we don’t skip a meal, right? We deserve the breakfast, lunch or dinner, everybody needs that. It’s three macros at each meal, protein, carbon fat, and then three colors at each meal. How can we get some colors and some variety? And when you look at it that way, you start to shift the focus to I’m adding all these things on my plate. All of a sudden I my blood sugar’s buddy better, I’m way more sustained. You know, we’re less focused on the calories and more focused on like, How good can this get? And how can we make food a little bit more fun. And when that shifts your focus, when you start to have more fun with it, I always I love the word fun when it comes to health because we never associate it with fun. It’s always things that are miserable and structure and very tactical and half dues. But the your health is a get to, you get to take care of yourself, you get to add to your meals, this gets to look however you want it to look, if you if it’s like if you’re doing things that make you feel miserable, you’re going to end up with that, you know, but if you want to create more fun with it cool, we can add dancing, and as movement, we can focus on how to create meals that are more fun, but still support our gut health. You know, it’s really just shifting the focus away from weight loss and feeling good and having fun.

Dr. Heather Finley  14:12

Yeah. So how do you respect your body through the changes, and instead of hating your body, you mentioned like this transitional period. And, you know, we see clients that come to us with gut health issues of all kinds, and they’re really uncomfortable, you know, and their body may change because a lot of them similar to what you just described. They’ve been yo yo dieting, they can’t possibly eat any less than they were or they’ve been on all the elimination diets. And so they may go through a period where things get worse before they get better. How do you respect your body through these changes? Like what are your top tips for

Katy Saltsman  14:51

that? So that’s a really great question and I want to share just a little bit of a personal story if you’re okay with that. Yeah, go for it. I About two years ago, I went through a really, really stressful period in my life. And this is after I’ve overcome body image issues and everything that I dealt with, I went through a divorce. And I was in a pretty, like really emotionally abusive situation to the point where I decided to move myself to Colorado, literally drove across the country moved myself to Colorado, I didn’t realize the stress that my body had been under for a very long time. Like, that was the tipping point of it. But my body had been under a lot of stress until them. And it was it was stressed that I hadn’t addressed, which I think, you know, for a lot of gut health clients, that’s what’s going on. And I lost my cycle, I started losing my hair. My body just physically wasn’t even producing progesterone. And I had to stop working out, which for me was my therapy was the only thing that was keeping me sane at that point, because I moved to a city where I knew nobody, I lost all my connection. But I was trying to gain my sanity back. So I went through this massive period of stress and trauma, I had to stop working out, I had to intentionally put on about 10 to 15 pounds, right I was it was at a time where I had like six pack abs and I looked great, and everything felt really easy, which was awesome that I had got my body to a point where I could just like naturally be there without pushing it like crazy. But going from that to the other end, where I had to solely focus on my mental and emotional health was very, very hard for me, one to intentionally put on 15 pounds as a trainer to have to be in a calorie surplus to take stress off my body. And I had to really slow down and focus on things like walk in the sunshine, I got into, you know, trauma therapy, I hired a self discovery coach, I really poured into my mental and emotional health, but it was very hard physically for me, because I felt uncomfortable with my body. And I still am not back to where I was. And I’m okay with that. I love and respect my body for everything that it went through. But there are a couple of things that I learned through that process of not being able to work out for four months, and then coming back and feeling very out of shape. I think the biggest thing I learned is that changing my body will not make me happy. But changing my patterns. Well, that was like really powerful for me is that like, no matter what size my body is at, that’s not going to make me happy. But how I show up in life, and not repeating the same patterns and not getting myself into situations again, that’s what will make true change. The other thing I learned is that like, I will feel strong again, even in that moment, it’s defeating the moment when the time where you have to put on weight and you are like this, there couldn’t be a worse situation when you’re struggling with body image issues. I was lucky that mine happened at a time where I was very healed from mine. But when it’s happening at a time where you’re not like you’re very, very sensitive to that, and you’re hyper focused on that. But that’s not like your your current moment in time is not your end moment in time or your end goal. And for me knowing that, like I’ll feel strong again, like I can’t like I’m at a point now where I’m my strongest because I took that time to figure out my body to heal my hormones to heal the trauma that I just went through. And I think that’s a an important piece for so many women is that like, this is a stepping stone to skyrocket you forward. We think it’s a step back. And it’s not a step back. And it’s a stepping stone to skyrocket yourself forward. So yeah, maybe for a little bit you’re in this like Limbo that doesn’t feel comfortable. But know that on the other side of that is something that’s more amazing where you’re reconnected to your body, and you’re feeling even better, and nobody can take that away from you.

Dr. Heather Finley  18:49

That’s amazing. And your story is so amazing, which is what I originally heard at the conference that we were at in October and why I reached back out but it’s an it’s so applicable to the clients that we work with, because sometimes they do have setbacks and the journey is not always linear. I don’t know if you’re a fan of James clear or atomic habits, but he talks about like the Valley of disappointment. And we talk about that a lot with our clients because they’ll feel like, okay, I’m making progress, and then they have a huge setback. And that valley of disappointment is like actually where the real change happens. Because you get to prove to yourself that you can show up for yourself, regardless of how you feel currently but of how you want to feel in the future. And like I’m doing this for my future self and my future life.

Dr. Heather Finley  19:40

Hey there. I know you’re absolutely loving this episode on gut health, but I have to interrupt to ask you a favor. If you haven’t enjoying the love your gut podcast. The best way that you can support us is by leaving a rating and review on your favorite podcast platform. Your ratings and reviews help us reach so many more People and spread the word about the importance of gut health. So go on over, hit a five star rating and leave a review, letting others know how much you love the show and what your favorite episode was. I truly appreciate your support and can’t wait to bring you more gut loving content.

Katy Saltsman  20:16

Something that helps me and I, I know, I’m sort of like taking a trauma approach to this. But when I was healing from trauma and working with a self discovery coach, she had said to me, like, I felt like I was doing all the right things and felt like I wasn’t gaining any headway. And I think a lot of women feel like that with their health is they feel like they’re doing all the right things. But it’s not like the needles not moving forward or as quick as they want it to be. But there’s two, two pieces of healing, no matter what healing journey you’re on. And one is doing all the things ticking all the boxes like I was I was journaling, I was more intentional, I was going through therapy, I was doing the things to work through and truly like feel and heal. But I was really stuck there because I was only focused on that. And if we can relate it to gut health and weight, you’re only focused on the bloating, you’re only focused on why you’re not feeling good, and how you used to live versus how you want to actually look. But there’s this whole other piece of the puzzle of the life that we get to create. And I wasn’t focused on that. And it’s 5050, I was stuck in the healing phase. I wasn’t making any headway, because that’s all that I was focusing on. But what if I focused on the things I wanted to be doing in life, building the life that I wanted having more fun having more freedom. So I really want to encourage any woman that you’re stuck in your body and you’re struggling with the way that you look and your body image and you’re like, uncomfortable with your bloating, and that’s like hyper focused on you do the right things, do the steps to get there to be able to put your health first but also like what do you want your life to look like? If you want your life to feel a little bit more fun and feel a little bit more free? What are you doing in your life to get yourself there? You know, what are you opening yourself up to like, open yourself up to new opportunities to create a new body image to create a new self worth? Are all you’re gonna get stuck with is what you’re used to happen. Yeah, and

Dr. Heather Finley  22:07

it’s really hard to shift to that mindset, I think, what do you think holds us back from getting there to like focusing on the future and what we want our life to be like?

Katy Saltsman  22:19

I think the number one thing for women is we think that we will get there when our body changes, we think that we will heal our relationship with food once we get to a certain way. But that’s not how it happens. You have it backwards. Yeah, heal your relationship with food first. And then that happens. Like I always say, if the mental and emotional is in check, the physical becomes 10 times easier. But we’re so focused on that physical and not what’s actually holding us back, which is the mental and emotional, that we never get to where we want to be, we just can’t it’s like one step forward, two steps back. So know that like your the physical is absolutely possible. But it’s not possible unless you’re addressing the habits and patterns and the things that got you there in the first place. So it’s switching, it’s sort of switching that mindset, which is a very tough thing to do. And my best advice for women is to just practice it. Like look, I’ve been, you know, I’m 10 years out of really struggling with like disordered eating and body image issues. And I still have thoughts come into my head when I moved to Denver by myself and didn’t know anybody. You didn’t think I have moments where are emotionally eight, you’re crazy wrong. Like, there are times where it ebbs and flows. But you just practice and you get better and better and better. And the only way that we can start to shift our body image and self worth is to truly practice practice showing up better practice trying to trying something different, staying away from triggers, you know, honoring a morning routine, setting a goal that has nothing to do with your body. And little by little, you’re going to start to build this life, where right now it’s like old negative and very little positive and intentional. But you’ll have these moments where it’ll just become easier and easier. And it takes practice. Like I always go back to the analogy of athletes, athletes didn’t get to where they wanted to be without a ton of practice. And that meant that well they were practicing. And while they were consistent with wanting to shift and get better. Yeah, they lost some games and they won some games, and that’s okay. But that’s what got them to where they are now there are going to be times where you feel like you’re winning and losing. But the only way to truly shift how you show up and how you feel about yourself is to just keep going and to just keep practicing.

Dr. Heather Finley  24:32

We see that a lot when we have clients that are trying to reintroduce foods. You know, they have this laundry list of foods in their mind of things that they can’t tolerate or things that they’ve cut out because Google told them to or because of some elimination diet that they’ve done in the past. And there’s two things one is they they think exactly what you said earlier, I’ll be less fearful of food when my digestive symptoms are gone. But like adding in food and more diversity is actually going to improve their digestive symptoms. And then the other piece of it is practicing, you know, you have to practice. And if you have symptoms from the first time that you add in one food, it doesn’t mean that it’s never going to work for you again, it’s, maybe we just need to switch the form or the way it was cooked or, like the combination of things that you had. Or maybe you were just so stressed when you sat down, because you thought we were gonna get symptoms, that the stress totally shut down your digestive process. And that’s why you didn’t tolerate the food. And so yeah, it’s these like little little steps and practicing every single day to slowly get towards where you want to be. But you’re never going to be able to tolerate the foods that you really want to tolerate, if you never try.

Katy Saltsman  25:45

Yeah, absolutely. It’s just like, forward motion one foot in front of the other where we’re used to having this all or nothing mindset. And being so hard on ourselves. We were wired as women to get so hard on yourself in our body. And it’s like, what if we just tried to work with it, like, we’re constantly working against it like, and our body is like, it’s our best friend, it’s our home, we only get one, it’s our shell. But we’re spending so much of our life hating it and getting frustrated with it. And if you can start to sit down and understand it, you know, it’s like, it’s like a really frustrated, frantic kid if you get mad at them and more frustrated at them, and is only going to make the situation worse. Or if you try and sit down and understand them and come to their level. But we’re never giving ourselves the opportunity to do that with our body mentally, physically or emotionally. We’re just completely disconnected with it, and always want to slap the band aid of restriction or diet. And that’s only going to perpetuate the problem even further.

Dr. Heather Finley  26:42

I was going to be my next question. You already answered it, like how do we get on the same team as our body? Because so many of the women we work with feel like it’s almost an out of body experience. Like I don’t even I can’t even tune into the cues My body’s giving me. They don’t even realize how stressed they are. Because they’re just so disconnected from the signals that they have. But I love the analogy of a kid, you know, yeah, if you are dysregulated, and you are frustrated, that’s what you’re gonna get back? Yeah,

Katy Saltsman  27:12

absolutely. I think one easy, simple way, like for my women that feels super dysregulated and disconnected. A question is like, what is one thing you can do today to feel really good? What is one thing you can do today to have more fun? You know, like, what, what can you do. And when you start to add in these elements, you take away the obsession from weight loss. And again, all like 99% of the women I work with want to see weight loss. But when we take the focus away from it and focus on building a life that we are really proud of that we can step into where we can feel competent and happy and healthy. All of a sudden, a weight loss becomes really easy. Can we actually stop, like I get messages all the time, women that are like I haven’t weighed myself in three months, and I used to obsess over weighing myself every single day. Because health is so much more. It’s like we broaden the horizons of what health is, which I think is the most beautiful thing you can do as a woman.

Dr. Heather Finley  28:05

And we were just talking about on your podcast, like the CO occurrence that you see of women struggling with weight loss, and yo yo dieting and digestive health. So I guess my question for you to kind of tie it in for the listeners is when these women say like, oh, well, I stopped focusing on it. And I reached my goal. I’m assuming you also hear that some of their digestive symptoms improved as well.

Katy Saltsman  28:28

Absolutely, yeah. So so many symptoms as volume proved. But I think a lot of that comes back to just massive stress and pressure we’re putting on ourselves and to look a certain way and be a certain way. And it’s not stress for everybody, especially with gut health, right. But stress is like a huge, huge factor. And when we can take that away and address, like, I think really learning about our bodies is the key. I want to educate and empower women, how their bodies work, and what they can do like how nutrition relates to their bodies, what your metabolism actually does, how you can improve it. And we’re not used to learning about that we’re used to learning about you can eat this, you can eat this, this makes you get fat. keto makes you lose weight, you know, all these bogus claims that we’re focusing on the wrong things instead of true health. And I think when you focus on true health, it automatically takes stress off, right? Because there’s really nothing that’s like off limits. It’s just getting your body to work for you. And when you focus on adding into your day instead of taking away it just it shifts completely like almost instantly.

Dr. Heather Finley  29:34

Yes. And I love how both of our philosophies are just so aligned, like when you had it and you know, it’s like from a digestive health standpoint, when you add foods in and you look at your life from an abundance standpoint, you look at your gut health from an abundance standpoint, all the sudden, like things get better and so and you’re right you know, stress is one of the biggest things that contributes to digestive symptoms. And yeah, that might not be the whole picture but it’s really hard. slash impossible to resolve digestive issues if there’s significant stress on the body, including metabolic stress from under eating. And so sometimes that’s the first thing that has to be resolved is healing the relationship with food and improving metabolism so that the body can actually respond to the interventions that then we do.

Katy Saltsman  30:19

Yeah. One thing that I work a lot with women is like women are binge eating consistently, right? They go from like, the I’ll have them. One thing I’ll have clients do is just just to become aware, as I say, Look, I’m not judging at all, what you’re eating your calorie intake, anything, I just want to super accurate four or five days of tracking your food, just to understand what your body is functioning off of, from a metabolism standpoint, right, like, give me the ups, the downs, the good weekends, the happy hour meals, like I want them all, I truly want to know that not from a judgment standpoint, but just to see where they are. And what I see often with women is these big gaps these days, where they’re eating eight or 900 calories, and then all of a sudden, they’re having these big binges to 3000 calories and above because they’re so hungry. And it’s like, what if we could just like that is a huge stress in the body a huge stress in the gut. And if we give them more calories, were scared to add in calories. But if we can add in more calories and be more consistent with energy levels, and the way we’re functioning and how we’re feeling, and we’re not having these big binges, which is a massive stress in the body, then all of a sudden, we just feel we’re more level we have less stress our guts functioning better. And that’s the case of like, it’s not about what you can take away. It’s about like, adding in to feel good.

Dr. Heather Finley  31:37

And taking the like, good, bad away from food because we’re human. The second you tell yourself, you can’t have something. What do you want? You told yourself you couldn’t have? So it’s like, it’s such a vicious cycle.

Katy Saltsman  31:50

If no food is off limits, there’s no reason to binge on anything.

Dr. Heather Finley  31:53

Yeah, if you know you can have it then there. Yeah. Okay. So last question, as we kind of wrap this up is, let’s say, you know, you’re having you wake up and you’re just having a really bad body image day. And you know, you have plans and you want to cancel plans, like this is probably multiple questions and one, but, like isolation and social isolation specifically are things that we see with women with digestive issues. Like, they’re really bloated, they plan on wearing this dress, but now they’re bloated or their pants don’t fit or like really real uncomfortable situations. How do you navigate that? And you know, how, how does social isolation really exacerbate these issues? Because of like the stress component? And just even like how it affects the brain?

Katy Saltsman  32:44

Yeah, that’s those are really good questions. So let’s address the social isolation first, because it’s something that I very much had, and I missed out, it makes me sad, how many moments I missed out on in life and just vacations and freedom and fun because I was so self conscious of my body. I know that’s common for a lot of women. But understanding that like that’s a very unhealthy coping mechanism. And social isolation is isolation, just like in typically a social isolation would be paired with emotional eating, right? Because you’re trying to make yourself feel comfortable. But you’re disconnected from your body, you’re disconnected from other people, you don’t understand what’s going on, the stress of canceling is causing even more stress in the body. So it’s how do we not socially isolate ourselves, because we know it’s only making it worse. And it’s a coping mechanism that is not going to serve us. But how do we handle this situation and feel good, if it’s truly a situation where you feel like you can’t go out, then don’t I’m not saying to force yourself to go out. But also understand that there is something there’s a void that you need to fill in something that you need to feel and and do that right. So if you need maybe connection or a girlfriend to come over and have that come over, if you need to go for a walk in the sunshine, do that. If you need to take an Epsom salt bath, do that. But do things that are really nourishing for your body and your nervous system and your mind in moments like that. Instead of the opposite where we go sit in front of a screen and scroll social media and grab a bag of chips and feel 10 times worse about our body. Do things that feel nourishing to you. Again, that takes practice. But I really like to challenge women to go in those situations. And two things. Number one, how you feel is going to be very important. So if you’re having a day where you’re dealing with massive gut issues and you’re feeling really bloated, don’t pick the pair of black leather tight pants, and then shame yourself in the mirror for not looking like you feel like you should and then you know put on this is why I love Denver. I can wear jeans and a big flannel and it’s like Air Force ones and you can look comfy and it’s acceptable anywhere even like a nice restaurant, but put on an outfit that you’re comfortable with because you want to take the hyper focus As off of your body, you are going to that place to connect, to laugh to create memories, you will not be able to do that if you’re hyper focused on your body. So wear an outfit that’s comfortable. If you’re dealing with bloating, if you’re feeling your gut right now, and you know that like, look, this is your right now even though it’s not your long term, find some clothes that are comfortable for your right now, find some like loose fitting dresses, some flannels, some, you know, leggings are my best friend, find things like that, like we actually live in this society where like layers and you know, puffy vests like I’m wearing right now, these are all things that are very, very comfortable and also trendy and cute. You don’t have to fit into this smallest outfit, right? Take the hyper focus off your body feel really, really comfortable. Again, nourish your nervous system, take some deep breaths, really try and reconnect your body on knowing that like, there’s nothing in that moment that’s going to make you feel instantly better. But the more you can nourish yourself in that moment, the better it’s going to be, the more you could cheat yourself and go down that road, the harder it’s going to be. I think the second step of a situation as as women, we are obsessed with talking about our bodies and diets. i My biggest goal is changing the conversation around health for women, and not just the way that we approach our health, but the way we speak to each other. If you want to create deeper connections and friendships in your life, stop talking about diets and bullshit and stop having when you walk into a room, the first thing we do is critique our body, we point out our insecurities. You know, we’re instantly going into a room and looking at someone based on what they’ve lost weight, if they’ve gained weight. You know what I’m eating? What I’m not eating. If you sit at a table of women, that’s all the conversation is about. That’s not what they’re about. That’s not what you’re about your worth is so much more than your weight or what diet that you’re on, create those connections. When was the last time you asked a friend like, what’s lighting you up in life right now? Like, what are your biggest hopes and dreams and goals? Those are the connections and conversations that I want to be a part of. And those are the ones that I create for other women around me, because I want them to know that I think their body is the least interesting thing about them. I think their mind and their soul and the way they make me feel when I walk into a room and the way that they hug me. That’s why I’m with them. That’s why I love them. And the more we can create that conversation and connection and comfortability for other women, the less social anxiety we have in general.

Dr. Heather Finley  37:27

Love that. And I love the question, what’s lining you up right now? Because, you know, the generic, like, how are you doing? And then the response of good busy, it is like the typical conversations that you’re having. Yeah, busy, stressed out overwhelmed, worked, you know, on this

Katy Saltsman  37:47

diet right now, I don’t know what I’m gonna get at this restaurant. Yeah. And it’s actually, yeah. And you’ll still deal with women that are asking those questions. But it’s very easy to just pivot and be like, let’s not talk about diets right now. Like what’s going on in your life? Like, tell me what excites you? They will very rarely shift back to diets.

Dr. Heather Finley  38:05

Yeah. Because if you it’s part of what you spoke about earlier, setting boundaries, when you basically communicate to people how to communicate with you, they’ll they’ll reciprocate. And if you say, Let’s not talk about diets right now, or let’s not talk about our bodies or weight, then they probably won’t bring it up again. Or it could just be something like, Hey, I’m really struggling because my digestive symptoms are really bad today. And you know, I’m, I’m really glad to be out with you. Because I just want to have fun. And I know that fun and pleasure and joy are a piece of my healing. And so like thank you for like, being with me today. And like helping me get my mind off of it.

Katy Saltsman  38:44

Well, I love that that’s like a really vulnerable response. But I think it’s so important as women.

Dr. Heather Finley  38:49

Yeah. And I think vulnerability is what creates those really deep connection and action. Yeah. Okay, well, this was amazing. And I think it helps so many people. The last surprise question that I always ask everybody, which you may already know is, what is your favorite way to love your guts and says, This is the love your gut podcast.

Katy Saltsman  39:11

The favorite way to love my gut is to honestly honor my food cravings. Like I used to have these fear around foods. And now I have no food rules at all. Like if I have breakfast, and I want a piece of dark chocolate after breakfast, I have it. And for me that was really the point that healed my relationship with food and with my gut and all the disordered eating was when I took all the rules away. Because Oh, Katie would have hyper focus on the chocolate. Instead, it was bad, bad, bad, and then would have had the entire bag at night. And now I just really like honor what my body needs. But I’m also very intentional in those moments to have like, do I just want a bite of it? Do I want a piece like when do I want you know, two pieces? What does that look like? And so honoring what my like what my food cravings are which is always a sweet tooth by the way, has saved my relationship with my food. I love it.

Dr. Heather Finley  40:04

Well tell people where they can find you and tell them about your podcast and all the details.

Katy Saltsman  40:09

I have a podcast called crying burns calories. I always like to emphasize crying because people think I say crime. I’m not sure why but maybe it’s like my Midwest weighing. It’s crying burns calories, where I talk about health, fitness, trauma, relationships, really talk about it all. But the overarching emphasis on the podcast is most of the time, the weight we need to drop has nothing to do with the weight on our bodies. So I love connecting and diving deep into podcasts. You can find me on Instagram. Instagram handle is just my name. Katie Saltzman that’s my main platform that I’m on, send me a DM connect with me. I love connecting with people. And yeah, those are my main places.

Dr. Heather Finley  40:51

Well, thanks so much for joining and we’ll talk to you soon.

Katy Saltsman  40:54

Thank you so much.

Dr. Heather Finley  40:56

As always, please note that this episode or anything discussed on this podcast is not a substitution for medical advice and you should always consult your health practitioner before trying anything new.

Dr. Heather Finley  41:08

Thanks so much for tuning in to today’s episode of the love your gut podcast. I have a new quiz that I’m so excited for you to take it is called which popular song describes your gut health issues. So if you’re ready to find out if you’re a slow down by Lennon, Stella or Don’t Stop Believin by journey in the world of gut health, it’s time to head over to Dr. Heather finley.co/quiz to take this new quiz and find out if your gut is rockin and rollin or more of a slow jam. And until next time, remember to love your gut so it will love you back.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Heather

Registered dietitian and helps people struggling with bloating, constipation, and IBS find relief from their symptoms and feel excited about food again.

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