Be careful who you talk to!

There are thousands, hang on …. millions of people out there who love the fact that you are overweight. They will claim that they care and that they have a plan to help you. They will be really evangelical about which ever program worked for them and just as passionate that it will work for you. They will show you impressive before and after photos. But do they really care about you and your weight? Continue reading “Be careful who you talk to!”

Facing your fear will free you to live!

Many of our fears are irrational. We are born with a fear of loud noises and of falling. The others we collect along the way. Anxiety or panic attacks happen when our “Protection” hormones, adrenaline and cortisol go into overdrive. Cortisol and adrenaline are our best friends when they work the way they were designed to but sadly, for many reasons, they can go out of whack and make life very difficult and even impossible. Continue reading “Facing your fear will free you to live!”

We are not taught the valuable lesson of dealing with Uncomfortable emotions.

Have you ever been given a lesson in how to deal with uncomfortable emotions? I can seldom remember as a child any lessons in school where we were taught to feel our feelings or how to control the really strong, perhaps unhealthy ones. I do recall being told to “shut up” if I voiced anger or was told to “stop being an embarrassment” if I cried in public. Boys are usually told in an even stronger way not to show emotion.   Continue reading “We are not taught the valuable lesson of dealing with Uncomfortable emotions.”

What have emotions got to do with weight loss? It’s food and exercise…

Think about the last 3 times you binged, overdrank or ate way more than you are comfortable with.

Now think about what was going on at the time. Were you stressed, very happy, angry, frustrated, tired?

If the answer is yes, it’s proof that people who are overweight will usually turn to unhelpful eating for emotional reasons.

In that case, should we not focus on caring for our emotions as much as we focus on the food and exercise? You decide.

Trust your gut instinct!

Ever get that feeling that something is wrong? It niggles at you, giving you weird little signals that may seem silly if you verbalise them to others.

I used to have that with my health. I just had this deep sense that something was not quite right. At times it became overwhelming and I’d head off to a doctor or specialist to be told “you’re just tired”, “it’s depression – take these” or “you need some counselling”. I did all of those things and still something didn’t feel right. Continue reading “Trust your gut instinct!”

Why do we allow that number to determine our happiness?

Isn’t it a bit strange how much power we give to that number on a little metal machine? It can determine our sense of worthiness, self esteem, self confidence, what we wear, what we won’t wear, our mental state, our relationships, what effort we put into looking good, what we spend, how we feel and perform at work, what we think others think of us. I’m sure there are a few more that I’ve missed.

At the end of the day, it is just a number. A number on a machine that it not always accurate, that changes depending on how much water you’ve had, what food you’ve eaten, whether you’ve poo’d today or not, what medication you’re on, whether you’ve exercised and what time of the day you decide to stand on it.

I’d like to encourage you to change your thinking. Focus only on what you put in your mouth. Do your research and find a program that sits comfortably with you then put all your energy into sticking to it. Every time you put something in your mouth, ask yourself “Will this benefit me?”, “Will this help me reach my goal to be happier and healthier?” If the answer is no, don’t eat it.

I can guarantee you, that if you can’t master what you put in your mouth, your body will shrink, you will become healthier, happier and will no longer be ruled by a couple of numbers.

What came first? The Depression or the Weight?

Depression is awful! My experience of it is a complete lack of energy when you wake in the morning, the feeling of “oh no – not another day”, “I can’t do this”, the feeling that it’s too much to even get up and make a cup of tea let alone go to work. The feeling of “please leave me alone”, “please don’t patronise me” and “the world would be much better off without me”. It’s real and it’s hard.

Now you add to that the feelings of guilt that you think you may just be lazy, bewilderment about is this really what life is supposed to be, shame that you can’t hold down a job, guilt that you’re not bringing in any money, guilt that you’re not a good enough mother and worse that you’ve passed your depression to your kids, and fear…. fear that you will never get better. Hmmmmm. A great way to start the day.

Dieting for a person who has money, has loads of support from family and friends, has a happy job and a fairly healthy body is hard enough. Imagine what it’s like for a person who is depressed.

When I was at my sickest it became very easy for this curtain of “I can’t do it” to overwhelm me. Then I started asking myself “What one little thing can I do today?” and I would absolutely force myself to do it. That one little thing made me feel “I can do it” and helped me take the next little step. It’s been a long and slow journey but I am on my way to recovery.

If you have depression, I empathise. I know this is hard but I also want to encourage you. You have the power and the ability to do one tiny little thing. Find support – it’s invaluable!!! And take the first step.

You always have the Option to change unhelpful Patterns.

Our brains record stuff just like a computer and will play back similar scenarios just as a computer program would. In that program, our brain records the feeling (emotion), the thought and the behaviour.

When your brain plays it back, it will find a feeling, link it to a thought and then link it to a behaviour.
Or it will take a behaviour and link it to a thought and a feeling. The 3 are inextricably linked and this can be destructive or a great tool for successful change. Here is a common example;

You’ve been really good on your diet and are excited to see your consultant to weigh. In your head, you are expecting to lose 3lbs. You stand on the scale and you’ve lost 2lbs. The feeling is a sinking one, feeling disappointed, gutted, then angry and frustrated. Your thoughts are “this is SO unfair, this diet is useless, I’m no good, my consultant will think I’m lying, how can I admit this to my friends”. The action is – either go out and eat as much chocolate as possible to help you feel better or head for the hills and give up the diet completely, thinking you could look at doing a different plan when you’re feeling better. You’ve done this 20 times in the past 20 years, are bigger than ever, and feel gutted that you are stuck in the cycle again.

Through all of this, you have lost sight of the fact you lost 2lbs!

The key is to learn how to change the feeling, the thought or the behaviour. Catch the feeling and feel it. You will not die, I promise! Perhaps you can express it to your consultant and tell her how you are feeling, or you can cry or simply take a little time to think things through. Then catch the thought and change it. If necessary, say out loud “Well I haven’t lost 3 and I feel pretty down but I have lost 2lb and that’s great. It’s success. Its a positive result! And I’m willing to be happy with that. Chances are that you will then stay on your program, put the weigh in behind you and keep going, all of which helps you break the destructive cycle and finally lose the weight.