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!

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.

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?”

Understand how your values affect your weight.

Look at the list below, quickly pick your top 5 and list them in order of priority.

Acceptance Fairness Quality
Accomplishment Family Realistic
Accountability Famous Reason
Accuracy Fearless Recognition
Achievement Feelings Recreation
Adaptability Ferocious Reflective
Alertness Fidelity Respect
Altruism Focus Responsibility
Ambition Foresight Restraint
Amusement Fortitude Results-oriented
Assertiveness Freedom Reverence
Attentive Friendship Rigour
Awareness Fun Risk
Balance Generosity Security
Beauty Genius Self-reliance
Boldness Giving Selfless
Bravery Goodness Sensitivity
Brilliance Grace Serenity
Calm Gratitude Service
Candour Greatness Sharing
Capable Growth Significance
Careful Happiness Silence
Certainty Hard work Simplicity
Challenge Harmony Sincerity
Charity Health Skill
Cleanliness Honesty Skilfulness
Clear Honour Smart
Clever Hope Solitude
Comfort Humility Spirit
Commitment Imagination Spirituality
Common sense Improvement Spontaneous
Communication Independence Stability
Community Individuality Status
Compassion Innovation Stewardship
Competence Inquisitive Strength
Concentration Insightful Structure
Confidence Inspiring Success
Connection Integrity Support
Consciousness Intelligence Surprise
Consistency Intensity Sustainability
Contentment Intuitive Talent
Contribution Irreverent Teamwork
Control Joy Temperance
Conviction Justice Thankful
Cooperation Kindness Thorough
Courage Knowledge Thoughtful
Courtesy Lawful Timeliness
Creation Leadership Tolerance
Creativity Learning Toughness
Credibility Liberty Traditional
Curiosity Logic Tranquillity
Decisive Love Transparency
Decisiveness Loyalty Trust
Dedication Mastery Trustworthy
Dependability Maturity Truth
Determination Meaning Understanding
Development Moderation Uniqueness
Devotion Motivation Unity
Dignity Openness Valour
Discipline Optimism Victory
Discovery Order Vigour
Drive Organisation Vision
Effectiveness Originality Vitality
Efficiency Passion Wealth
Empathy Patience Welcoming
Empower Peace Winning
Endurance Performance Wisdom
Energy Persistence Wonder

Now think back to the last time you “lost the plot” and ate something you know is not part of your diet plan or had a little binge.   Are the two connected?  I’ll bet they are!

Because our values are our absolute priorities and really important to us, any time they are “threatened”, our emotions rise dramatically and it’s at that point we often resort to food to deal with the feelings.
Very often our families are involved because family is usually in the top 5.   ie.  If one of your parents is rushed into hospital ill, it becomes very difficult to stay on plan.   If one of your kids is having a hard time at school with bullying, you will find it hard.    If work is a high value and you hear rumours of redundancy, you are unlikely to cope with a diet.
It’s useful for you to spend time on the above list and really understand and absorb what your values are.    You will then be forearmed to understand why things are not going to plan.
Just a quick question to finish off.   Was health in your top 5?    If not, that’s curious considering you are here looking to lose weight.   Perhaps you need to think about that and see how you can move it up.

If you want to lose weight, Forgive!

I was very young when I fell pregnant and “had to” marry my first husband.   It soon became evident to me that he was mentally abusive and on a few occasions physically abusive too.   He persuaded me that we needed to leave my country of birth to move to South Africa where I had no family and now had two children under the age of 2.   I won’t go into detail but I endured a few years of hell before someone who witnessed his behaviour said to me “If you don’t leave, he will kill your children and you”.    It was like a bolt of lightening had hit me and for the very first time, it occurred to me that I could leave him and I did.

Sadly, I didn’t have the emotional maturity or support to know how to move on and over the years I became bitter, resentful and angry at him for “ruining my life”.   I couldn’t say anything positive about him and despite my efforts to never say anything bad about him in front of our boys, the boys have told me since that they were very aware of my hatred towards him.    I carried it for years and it raged within me.

Some years later when I was still single, lonely, lacking in confidence and self esteem, a therapist suggested I forgive him.   I was furious with her.   How could anyone who had done so much damage deserve to be forgiven and I certainly wasn’t going to forget!    Slowly, with her help, I learnt that I could forgive him within myself without him ever being aware of it and that by doing so, I could free myself to be happy again.   It doesn’t change the fact that what he did was wrong – it simply means I’m choosing not to let it continue ruining my life.

If you struggle with your weight and there is something or someone you haven’t forgiven, the chances are that you will resort to comforting food whenever those emotions bubble up.   And they will!    Decide who or what it is that you need to forgive, simply do a little ceremony by writing it on a piece of paper and burning it or get some help if you need it.    As you forgive, the feeling of relief is huge!   It’s wonderful to let go of all the anger and let your mind and body fill with hope and love instead.    And you will find you no longer need to resort to food to ease the pain.

 

Your beliefs can block your way to success!

Have you noticed the really heated exchanges that are taking place between vegans and meat eaters lately?   I read loads of stuff about various “WOE”‘s (Ways Of Eating) and to be honest, it really shocks me how militant, vicious and nasty people are being with each other over food!!!!    This post is not about taking sides in the debate but rather to understand why we become so intensely passionate and extreme about things we believe in.  In my quest, I came across the expression “Beliefs will always trump facts”.

What this is saying is that we can adopt beliefs and they become absolutely fundamental and integral to who we are as a person and we base our values and sense of purpose on those beliefs.    We find it really difficult to change from those beliefs because without them, we lose a part of who we are, our purpose and our reason for being.

Think of something you believe in really strongly and think back to where it all started.  Perhaps you picked it up from people as you grew up, a life event sent you looking for answers and someone you resonated with sensed your “need” at the time gave you the answers you needed.   You may have read it in books.   The thing is, what they told you may not have been based in fact.

When it comes to different diets, it is SO difficult to know who’s facts are right.  Every day we are told things that are contradicted the very next day!    Eggs are bad / Eggs are good.    Margarine is the best – No Butter is best!   Fat causes heart disease / Fat does not cause heart disease and is in fact good for you.    What are we supposed to do?

Personally, I went to a talk with Dr Rami Cohen in South Africa over 20 years ago.   He did a 3 hour lecture on how he discovered when he was the head of the largest fertility clinic in the country that the fatter a person was, the more infertile they seemed to become.   He studied the hormonal reactions, did research into various foods and came up with a diet  which stimulated the hormones, increased fertility and as a side effect, they all lost weight.    What he said made absolute sense to me, I tried it and I lost 4 stone (25 kgs) in 4 months eating great food!   That was all the evidence I needed.   It formed the platform for all my beliefs and it has grown from there.   Along the way, some new facts have come to light and I’ve tweaked a few things but  I’ve never had any clients who have followed the formula not lose weight since.    The proof was in the pudding.

You may be really surprised to know that 20 years later, this Doctor’s methods are slated and criticised.    Dieticians and nutritionists around the world say they are “dangerous” because they don’t conform to “the food pyramid” or the “government guidelines”.     Beliefs trump facts!     What if the “food pyramid” and “government guidelines” were wrong in the first place?     Personally, the fact that half the world is obese is very clear evidence that they are wrong and that we should all be willing to think outside the box.