It’s okay to be Smug! In fact it’s great!

 

Have you ever tried to put into words the amazing feeling you get when you stand on that scale and you weigh less than last week?      Awesome, proud, amazing, chuffed, relieved, empowered all come to mind but the word that seems to work best for a lot of people is smug.

A lot of people feel uncomfortable about it as the word has an air of arrogance and bragging.

I think its a great word to encompass everything.   It’s that brief moment when you can combine all those happy new emotions and put them all together.

So if you have lost some weight over the past few weeks, I’m giving you permission!    Go ahead and feel smug!    Whilst you are at it, update your journal with a list of everything you have achieved, everything that makes you feel really proud of yourself and highlight what you have learnt that is going to help you keep succeeding!

And from me, Congratulations!

3 key ingredients to Success!

Few of us understand or think about the biological changes that are taking place inside us when we embark on a weightloss journey.     I love biology and I’m also very logical.   I don’t like to be told “do this” – I want an explanation of why I should  because that makes it easier for me to accept and stick to.    As a result, I constantly read stuff on what’s going on internally and it’s helped me understand a couple of very helpful tips that I’d like to share with you.

Consistence – if you haven’t read my post on Ketosis, I’d really encourage you to do so (in the Practical but important stuff to know section).    Whatever diet you are doing, some more so than others, you will be going into ketosis.  Continue reading “3 key ingredients to Success!”

If you don’t learn new behaviours, you’ll never lose weight!

Losing weight or rather, gaining a happy body, is not simply about eat less, move more.    If it was, the 98% who don’t keep it off would be a much smaller percentage.    You have to learn to change your behaviours around food too and in fact, this is far more important because it’s the new behaviours that will keep you there.

Most people think about a diet as being “temporary“.    I’ll eat this way until I can fit into that dress, I’ll do this until I hit the 10 stone 7lb mark, I’ll do this until my blood sugars get back into the normal zone.   We don’t “plan” how we will change our behaviours and yet I think it’s the most critical thing.

One of the main behaviours you need to learn is not to give in every time an occasion presents itself.    I hear many people saying “I’m having a shopping day with my bestie – I’ll allow myself a couple of treats” or “I’ve got a business dinner and it will be impossible to stick to” or “my mum is really ill so I need to allow myself off at times”.

There is one thing that is guaranteed when you’re losing weight;  there will be plenty of excuses to come off your diet!   The thing that distinguishes those that succeed with those that don’t is that those who succeed learn that a boundary is a boundary.   You decide, this is what I have chosen to eat because I know it’s helping me lose weight and then you don’t cross that boundary no matter what.     Yes it’s difficult!    Of course it is.    There is no better feeling the next day when you get on the scale and you’ve lost weight but even more powerfully, you realise that you fought hard through the temptation…. and won!    You have stretched your comfort zone and that empowering lesson will remain with you for life!

Tablets and Potions versus Real Food?

For most of my life I have been like most of you, believing that I could lose weight easily and magically by taking lotions and potions.    Two years ago when I had a parathyroid tumour removed and decided I wanted to dedicate myself to becoming healthy and hopefully as a side effect lose weight.   I did a huge amount of research and studying to find out what diet would be best for fibromyalgia as I knew from past experience with my many clients who had fibromyalgia that weight loss can be terribly slow, so I wanted to be prepared mentally for the tough times and know how to overcome them.

What I kept reading over and over again was that the last thing my body needed was anything “artificial or chemical” Continue reading “Tablets and Potions versus Real Food?”

Gut healing can help you lose weight!

Gut healing is a recent but really exciting area of exploration when it comes to weight loss.     There was a show on telly recently where they compared two identical twins, one who was slim and always had been, one who was obese and had been for all of her adult life.  They tested each twins’ poo to see what their gut bacteria looked like and they were very different.   They then took poo from the thin one and transferred it into the fat one and very quickly, the fat one started losing weight with minimal change to her diet!

Our digestive system needs a good balance of thousands, perhaps millions of different types of bacteria to break down food.   It can be knocked out of whack for various reasons; illness, a bad diet, anti-biotics, severe stress or even shock from a car accident.

There is more and more evidence coming out that shows a direct link between an unhealthy gut and auto-immune conditions like fibromyalgia, Continue reading “Gut healing can help you lose weight!”

What does “look after yourself” mean?

We have all been brought up with free and easy access to foods that make us “feel better”, like chocolate, crisps, cake, biscuits, bread and butter.  We tend to reach for these foods automatically when feeling a bit tired, stressed, down, angry or frustrated.

Everywhere you turn nowadays you hear the phrases “look after yourself”, “put yourself first”, “if you don’t look after you, how can you look after anyone else?”.    Sadly, because we have learnt that sugary foods are comfort foods, a lot of people think that when they need to “care” for themselves, this means it’s ok to go and have a coffee and cake with a friend, go out for a meal with a delicious pudding and wine or simply curl up with a good movie and a slab of chocolate all to yourself.

I know it sounds like common sense when you see it written down that turning to sugary foods is not that great when we need self care, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a natural thing to do.

Self care means eating healthily.   It means giving your body what it needs rather than what you “fancy”.   Instead of turning to unhelpful foods, you could try some new treats like a candle and bubble bath with music and a good book, a walk in the countryside or on the beach, taking time out to sit in the sunshine with a magazine, re-introducing a hobby you haven’t done for years like knitting or perhaps doing a jigsaw puzzle.    Try anything that shifts your brain from busy left brain to creative right brain and the emotional craving for the sweet stuff will disappear.

Are Anti-depressants preventing you from losing weight?

You may be interested to know that at the stage when I was seeing about 100 clients a week in my groups, about 60% of them were on anti-depressants.   It has always interested me to findo   I am not against them, in fact I’ve been on them myself for most of my adult life, but there are times when they are not helpful.

Here are a few examples;

Many women have come to me for help to lose weight and it has fairly quickly become apparent that they are very unhappy in their marriage or partnership.  Often we don’t want to admit to ourselves how unhappy we are because we know that a major change needs to take place and the uncertainty of the future is crippling.   In cases like this, food becomes a “coping” strategy which ironically brings about weight increase which causes lower self esteem, lower self confidence and more depression.

The same thing often happens when people are very unhappy at work.  Perhaps they have a nasty boss or a colleague they really don’t get on with.  The unhappiness goes on day in and day out and they resort to food and anti-depressants to cope with the situation when actually what they need is a change of job.

The third really tough one is when a person is grieving which is a major reason why people gain weight.   I once brought in a specialist grief specialist to give a talk and her first bit of advice was not to take anti-depressants.   She explained that anti-depressants suppress the grief at a time when we really need to be feeling the pain and expressing it.    Apparently it takes at least 2 years to even start to overcome loss.

What anti-depressants will do is lift your mood when you are crippled by depression.   It will lift you enough to have the energy to get out of bed and look for help.    You would benefit from finding a counsellor or coach to talk to so you can get to the bottom of what is causing the intense pain and depression and when you’ve realised, work together to put a plan in motion to make the fundamental change that you need to make.

 

Planning a lapse? Here’s what to do.

 

Everything we do involves a choice, an action and a consequence, whether we realise it or not.   To be successful on your diet, it’s important that you do things YOU have chosen to do, not what others like your consultant tell you to do.    So when people tell me they have a function like a wedding coming up and want to know what to do, I simply highlight for them their 3 options together with the likely outcome or consequence and let them decide for themselves.

Option 1.    Come off plan completely.  Consequence: Be realistic that you WILL put on weight and will spend at least a week losing what you have gained.   You will undo any ketosis, put excess glucose into your bloodstream so will have to give your body time to rid yourself of this visceral fat before you start losing the sub-cutaneous fat again.   You may get sugar cravings whilst going through this as well as headaches and feeling ill.

Option 2.    Half and Half.    Decide in advance of the function what you will allow yourself and stick to it.    ie.  Instead of drinking your favourite 6 cocktails, you will allow yourself 2 glasses of dry champagne or 2 vodka and slimline tonics with plenty of water in between.   You will select all the healthy options and either have potatoes with your meal or the dessert but not both.    Consequence:   You won’t feel deprived and you will minimise the damage.  You are likely to put on weight but hopefully not a lot.

Option 3.    Stick to plan.    Be determined and don’t allow yourself to be swayed by people at the function or their opinions.   People who are slim and healthy often say no and that’s how they manage to stay slim.    Practice saying no.   Often we succumb because we are so worried about being different, offending the people who have hosted the wedding and paid for your meal or attracting unwanted attention.   Think the meal through and be prepared for how to handle this.    A great technique is to discreetly whisper that “I have a dodgy stomach”.    It stops the conversation in it’s tracks and allows you to do what you planned to do.    Consequence:   You will lose weight and develop great new skills for keeping your weight off!    Win win!

Starting again? Try something new this time.

Oh dear!   It’s Monday, the most popular day for starting a diet and here you are ……again.    Don’t be too hard on yourself as there are millions who feel the way you do right now.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”.   This is so true for dieting so I hope you will agree that you need to do something different this time.

Over the years, I have realised that one of the biggest reasons that people fall off the wagon is because they start bargaining with themselves.   “Just one won’t hurt”, “I can take tonight off and be extra good tomorrow”, “I’ll stop for the wedding I’m going to and get back on after”, “I’m feeling exhausted tonight.   I’ll allow myself one takeaway”, “If I do a workout, I can have a chocolate”.

The problem with thinking this way is that it starts a slippery slope and it’s short term thinking.

If you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off, you need to be pushing yourself to do things you thought you couldn’t do, to learn new good habits and to set yourself testing boundaries that you aim not to cross.   For example, instead of allowing yourself time off for the wedding, challenge yourself to stick to plan.   Yes it will be hard but imagine how great you will feel once you’ve achieved it!   By stepping out of your comfort zone, learning new coping skills and more importantly setting and respecting a new boundary, you take the first step in realising you are in control, you can achieve more than you think and you learn really important behaviours that will get you to your goal.     When you are slim and gorgeous, you will be saying “no” a lot more often so now is a great time to start learning.

Be strong.   Set a time limit and make a contract with yourself that you will stick to your plan …… no matter what!

 

You say you really want it, so why aren’t you doing it?

 

Very often I come across people who are sad, miserable and desperate to lose weight.   They talk the talk, come to group, engage in the conversation, know all the facts……but they don’t do what needs to be done.    This is called a “Mismatch”.   The intentions and the actions simply don’t match.

It’s a common phenomenon and people give away little hints and clues that whilst intellectually knowing what to do, they are simply not able to make the leap into the “doing” bit. Continue reading “You say you really want it, so why aren’t you doing it?”