What are Rituals and what do they have to do with your diet?

So what exactly do we mean by rituals?  They are things we do in a certain way over and over and which give us meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging to others.     It could be Easter, Christmas, the Sunday family roast, birthday celebrations, church, work meetings,  etc etc etc.

Look at the list above and ask yourself which ritual do you know of which does not include food.    It will be a very small percentage if you can find any at all!

The thing to learn is that when you link certain foods to a certain ritual, ie. chocolate Easter eggs to the Easter weekend for year after year as a child, a neural pathway is set.   Even when you are a 60 year old adult, that same neural pathway will be activated at Easter and you will find yourself wanting chocolate Easter eggs.    The drive to have them can be over-whelming!  Continue reading “What are Rituals and what do they have to do with your diet?”

Is All or Nothing thinking sabotaging your diet?


How many times have you started a diet, usually on a Monday!, do really well until Wednesday morning when a work colleague brings in cake to celebrate their birthday. You succumb to the temptation, love the cake for a few seconds, then start thinking “well I’ve blown it now so I may as well have more”. This is All or Nothing thinking. It’s either or, black or white, on a diet or off a diet. I’m perfect or useless. I’m good or I’m bad.

This way of thinking is not helpful when you are on a diet! Continue reading “Is All or Nothing thinking sabotaging your diet?”

Do you believe you can?


Before you embark on any weight loss program, ask yourself if you really believe you can do it? If the answer is “no”, you need to explore this. The saying above is very true!

If you start off believing you can’t do it, you are making it even harder for yourself. Why don’t you believe it?   Is it because you have tried so many times before?   Were you “labelled” as the “big boned” child in the family?   Do you have a mother or best friend who on the one hand agrees you need to lose weight but on the other feeds you cake?   Have you, like me, got health conditions that make you believe being a healthy weight is now impossible for you?  Or perhaps you think “it’s too hard” or “I can’t be bothered”.  When you’ve identified what the core dysfunctional belief is, you are in a position to do something about it!

Challenge your belief.    Perhaps the statement that felt the hardest to bear and may have made you tearful was “It will be too hard”.     Write that down on a piece of paper.    Underneath it, draw a line down the centre of the paper and on the left hand side, write all the evidence that proves it will be “too hard”.   On the right hand side, write all the evidence that it won’t be hard.    Then go through the list on the left and look for solutions for everything you wrote.   If you need a friend to support you, get one.   If you need to join a group, do it.   If you need to try something new because the others haven’t worked, do it!

Remember this;  you only need to tackle one thing at a time.   You don’t need to be overwhelmed by doing everything on Day 1.   Just do what you can do.   When you are comfortable with that, add the next thing.   By doing this exercise, you will have learnt a new way to deal with life’s little lessons and it can help you every time you hit a hurdle.

You CAN do this.   Believe it, embrace it …. and then go and shock yourself by achieving it!

Being “judged” will never help someone lose weight!

My son is fanatical about cricket and at the grand age of 38 plays for a local county team.   I’m just as fanatical about sitting in the sun watching him every Saturday afternoon and seldom miss a game.   I sit quietly minding my own business and usually the opposing team are sitting close by whilst their team bats and my son’s team are bowling / fielding.  I overhear very interesting, often very male oriented banter!

I also overhear comments made by the team and from time to time they are about my son.    I never respond but on one occasion, a player was chirping with comments like “that guy can’t run”, “he’s hopeless at catching” etc.  When he said “that guy runs like he’s disabled” which was followed by raucous laughter from the team, I couldn’t hold myself back any more.  I turned to them  quietly and calmly asked “would you feel differently if you knew he has had two hip replacements?”.   Needless to say they felt very embarrassed when I told them my son had his first hip replacement at 23 and his second at 35.

As overweight people, we know how it feels to constantly be unfairly judged. Continue reading “Being “judged” will never help someone lose weight!”

Some people simply won’t be as kind as you – that’s ok!

Are you one of those amazing people who are really good at remembering everyone’s birthday, go to a lot of trouble to give very thoughtful gifts and are always there where people are in need?

I used to be like that and it taught me a great life lesson when I could no longer manage it because of my health.

I can remember times when I would be wracked with guilt because I sent a birthday card too late to reach the person on time or forgot to send someone a Christmas card.    I would feel very unhappy, uncomfortable and it could upset me emotionally for days.    Until one day I realised that the person I had sent the card late to had not sent me a birthday card in years!   It was a lightbulb moment! Continue reading “Some people simply won’t be as kind as you – that’s ok!”

Learn how to manage your emotions and you’ll learn how to manage your weight.

I often watch debates about politics or religion on tv and thank heavens I’ve never attended one because quite honestly, there are times when people say things that I think are so stupid and so illogical that it really gets under my skin!   I know for a fact I couldn’t stay calm and respond with objectivity and calmness.    But actually, this is exactly what we should all aim for.

If you think of the most powerful and inspiring leaders that have ever lived, they have an incredible ability to see things objectively and calmly ….. in other words, to not allow their personal emotional response to control them!    Think of  Mandela, Ghandi, Churchill and Obama.    Continue reading “Learn how to manage your emotions and you’ll learn how to manage your weight.”

Are you in a never-ending Cruise mentality?

Let me first explain what a Cruise mentality is.

I have had many clients over the years who come to me to lose weight so they can look good in their finest clothes and thoroughly enjoy a Cruise ship holiday.   All good so far.

The problem is those very same people put in 5 or 6 months of hard work to lose 3 or 4 stone (20 – 26 kgs) so that they can eat everything they can stuff into their bodies on an all inclusive 10 day cruise!!    Our brain’s say to us “you’ve paid for it, you might as well get your money’s worth”.    When the package includes alcohol, oh dear!!!!     Ironic – lose weight so that you can enjoy putting it on again. Continue reading “Are you in a never-ending Cruise mentality?”

If you keep procrastinating, you’ll never get there.

Are you a procrastinator?   I have a little plaque that says “Please help me not to put off until tomorrow what I should have done the day before yesterday”.    Hmmmm.    It affects people who need to lose weight a lot!

What is it that you are waiting for?

  • A time when you have no functions coming up?
  • A time when you are stress free?
  • A time when your parents are not ill?
  • A time when you have no holidays planned?
  • A time when the kids have left home and you have more time for you?
  • A time when you feel better?

The truth of the reality is that there will never be a right time.   There will always be obstacles in your way.    You can never clear the time ahead to provide you with what you need.

If you are feeling unhealthy and unhappy, the very best time for you to get started is right now. Continue reading “If you keep procrastinating, you’ll never get there.”

If you don’t take responsibility, nothing can or will ever change.

I watched a program today about really obese people trying to change their lives for the better.  It was very enlightening but also pretty sad to be honest as I could very quickly identify those that would succeed and those who would make no progress at all… and it’s all to do with taking responsibility.

To start off with, every single one of them shared their reasons for becoming so overweight.   If you haven’t heard me saying it before, you may be shocked to know that I don’t believe any person becomes overweight because they are “greedy”.   The need to overeat, and eat the wrong things is a symptom but never a cause.

These people had become overweight through a mother feeding her daughter take aways because she was working 3 jobs and simply too exhausted, grief, divorce, the loss of a job, abuse, addiction and some ignorance.   All of these are understandable reasons for triggering overweight.  Continue reading “If you don’t take responsibility, nothing can or will ever change.”

Have you got the Monday Morning Morbs?

If you have climbed on the scale this morning and find yourself feeling really disappointed, gutted, annoyed, frustrated and puzzled because your weight has not dropped enough, this post is especially for you!

We all know this feeling.    Gosh, I’ve had clients who have lost 3lbs in a week feel this way so it is very common and it is very normal.   The problem is that it’s not very helpful!!  So is there something else you can do?   Absolutely.  Change your Behaviour!

The problem with losing weight is that we tend to become pretty obsessive and the diet tends to rule our life.   We do all the hard work during the week in anticipation of that little number which becomes our reward or retribution on Monday morning. Continue reading “Have you got the Monday Morning Morbs?”