I’m just greedy….

I cannot tell you how many times this has been said to me by clients over the years. I simply don’t buy it.

Nobody becomes overweight because they are greedy. Yes you may overeat, but if you overeat, there is always a reason. It may be learned behaviour, it may be a lack of education about what good food is, it may be hormonal, it may be medical, it may be for deep seated psychological reasons, but there is ALWAYS a reason why the overeating started in the first place. If you can figure out the reason, you can come up with a solution.

What do you think your reason is / was?

Please like me…….

Let me ask you a question. Think of 10 people you know, perhaps at work, and decide how many of them you really like, how many are just acquaintances and how many you quietly don’t really like. I’m guessing there’s a few you are not that keen on.

Now ask yourself if you want everyone to like you? Well of course we would all like to be incredibly well liked but look at Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. Even they polarise people. It’s simply not human nature to like everyone.

Accept the fact that not everybody is going to like you and that’s ok. Put your energy into building the good relationships and don’t waste any trying to please people who no matter what, will never give you back the positive energy that friendship requires.

I’m so bored ……Give me Food!

Isn’t it strange that we often associate relaxing and taking time out with a compulsion for food? When we are busy at work, looking after the family, doing shopping, paying bills etc, its all left brain logical activity. As soon as that stops, we feel this weird, uncomfortable emptiness.

We need stimulation but a great thing to do is to fill that space with right brain activity which is anything creative; drawing, painting, sewing, music, poetry. If you’ve ever wondered why hypnotherapists use a pendulum, its to balance the left and right brain activity which immediately makes us feel relaxed.

Help me stop the eating frenzy!!!

Learn how to deal with your emotions in a healing way. Here are some suggestions;

Write in a journal. You can simply use smiley face type entries or keep detail such as where you are / who you are with / what’s happening / what are you feeling. Over time you will recognise patterns.

Go for a 10 minute walk. When we are feeling emotionally distressed, we crave carbs (when did you last crave fish or vegetables?) because it takes 7 seconds for the effect to go from our mouth to our brain. Exercise is the only other thing that stimulates the feel good endorphins the same way.

Have a bubble bath and read a good book.

Talk about your feelings to an emotionally supportive person.

Sit with the feelings and do slow deep breathing.

Do something creative like a puzzle.

Listen to your favourite empowering song …. preferably very loud….and dance!

I am a Comfort eater.

Looking at this logically, if you eat to comfort yourself, you can never lose weight. It’s an absolute guarantee that for the rest of your life, you are going to experience uncomfortable emotions and if you eat something to mask those emotions every time, you are pretty likely to get bigger.

The solution is;

– Recognise the difference between emotional and physical hunger
– Become “aware” of emotional hunger (awareness is the first step to healing)
– Find strategies to deal with the emotions.

How do you feel reading this? Can you relate?

How can I get the ooomph to get started? It feels too hard.

Some people sit for years at that point of “I really want to lose weight” to actually doing something about it.

I have found a really great way to cross that threshold is to write down everything you hate / dislike about being the weight you are. The physical, the medical, the emotional, the practical, the spiritual…be really brave and express it. For some it’s a simple 5 minute list, but for others its a long, painful but cathartic exercise. It brings us out of denial and forces us to uncomfortably face reality. I even urge people to take a front and side photo in their underwear and simply look at it for a few minutes and allow all the feelings to flow. Have a good cry, rant, temper tantrum and ok, eat cake!, but process those feelings and let them go.

The benefits; this frees you from all the self loathing that has been making you turn to food, in terms of Transactional Analysis, it brings you from a Child state to an Adult state (which is where we need to be to beneficially change), and your list becomes a projection of meaningful goals. Let me know if this helps you!

I didn’t expect this!

As human beings, we are comfortable with the status quo. Change of any sort increases anxiety which is often the adrenaline rush we need to get out of our comfort zone.

Most people who decide to lose weight have thought about it and planned it for days, weeks or sometimes years. The people closest to them often haven’t and are suddenly confronted with a positive, strong, independent person who they don’t really know. It forces a change in the dynamics of the relationship. Sadly this often results in husbands, mothers and best friends unconsciously sabotaging your efforts. Think of the parent who keeps telling you that you need to lose weight but then offers you cake when you cry. Or the best friend who tells you that you are no fun anymore because you don’t want to get drunk with her every weekend. Or the husband who feels jealous and threatened by his now very sexy wife who is dressing in close fitting dresses instead of baggy blacks.

You will need to be really strong, understanding and resilient to push past it all!

Is a round of applause for every pound lost helping me?

Think carefully about what kind of support is right for you and what will keep you motivated. The structure of a weekly weigh in with the right person is invaluable for motivation and accountability.

When it comes to support, if you go to a group where they clap for every pound lost, that implies that for that week you have been “good”. So what happens in the weeks when you have stuck to the program 100%, expect to have lost a couple of pounds but instead you’ve stayed the same or put on? Hmmmm. No Clap…. Does this mean you are “bad”. It certainly makes a lot of people feel that way and when added to their feelings of disappointment and confusion, often results in …. overeating! And so the cycle continues.

Perhaps a well trained counsellor who shows no reaction either way will benefit you more.

Prepare for tough times.

We often resort to food, drink, drugs etc to mask feelings we don’t want to deal with. Understand at the outset that you are going to need to deal with uncomfortable feelings in a different way. Instead of being afraid of it, embrace it. Keep a journal of each difficult patch you encounter and how you overcame it.