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children eating watching TV

How Your Mind is Making You Fat

By | health, Hypnosis, hypnotherapy, Weight Loss | No Comments

We don’t generally see overweight animals, except perhaps those pampered pets who, on the whole, have the same issues with food as the humans who take care of them. This is because animals tend to eat to survive whereas we humans have so many other reasons to eat.

Eating has become a social thing for us, a celebration, a token of love and care, a reward in good times or a comfort in bad times. We meet with friends for a coffee and cake or with a partner for a ‘romantic dinner for two’. If you are trying to lose weight, these social occasions can be as hard as going to a party can be for an alcoholic. Temptation is there on the dessert trolley and the buffet table, the supersize takeaways and the all-you-can-eat spread. And the worst part about this is that you have been taught that it’s a waste of food to leave some on your plate, or that you need to stuff yourself to get your money’s worth.

There is the crux; if you are overweight it is most likely that you have been taught some bad habits such as:

Comfort Eating: which is often caused during childhood when an adult gives you a sweet or a biscuit to stop you crying when you are sad or hurt. This becomes any situation where you don’t feel good so that low self-esteem makes you turn to food and the excess weight causes you to feel even worse about yourself.

Boredom Eating: often when people tell you that they eat when they are’ bored’ it doesn’t actually mean that they haven’t got anything to do. Like children who say they are bored, it generally means that any of the things that they do have to do are not giving them the satisfaction they need. Often their lives are not satisfying; they may be doing a job they dislike, trying to be something that they feel the ‘should’ be (not every stay-at-home mother is suited to the job!), in short, they are not following their own Passions.

Eating Excessively: were you brought up to ‘clear your plate’ and ‘not waste food’? This becomes a deeply seated and unconscious habit. You may find yourself clearing other’s plates, especially the food your children have left unfinished. That ‘training’ switched off your natural ability to know when you have had enough. Or perhaps you pile more on your plate than you need because you feel envious of others who can eat more and not put weight on. This is often caused by feelings of not being ‘as good’, for instance, growing up being compared to someone else or being given less (not necessarily food, perhaps attention) than a sibling.

Eating Unconsciously: If you eat whilst doing something else, watching TV for instance, you eat more. Letting yourself to get too hungry may mean you ‘shovel’ food into your mouth not allowing you to smell, taste and savour the food.

These are just some of the ways your thinking can cause excess weight, and these issues have to be addressed if you ever hope to lose that excess for good. The problem is that these are subconscious reactions that probably became part of your programming in the first few years of life, either things that you saw or things you were told as a very young child. At a time before you had the ability to screen out information or decide the sense of it for yourself. This is a time when your brainwave activity is resonating in what is called Theta (4-7Hz), the same level of brainwaves that we use in hypnosis. In other words, up until around 7yrs old you are in a state of hypnosis, a state in which information is absorbed straight into the subconscious! What better way to override this auto-input than to use the same state to change it that was used to store it in the first place?

Slim girl on the beach

Feel Good – Lose Weight

By | happiness, health, Weight Loss | No Comments

As summer comes in and we start to shed our winter wear, looking forward to summer holidays and the beach-body, is it any surprise that you start to think again about losing those extra pounds.

Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result and yet how many times do you go on another diet and expect to lose weight once and for all. Most of my clients, when they finally come to seek help, will be able to rattle off a long list of diets they have tried in the past, how many pounds they lost on it, and how much heavier they were a year later. Over the years their weight creeps up and up, but they are still sold on the idea that the next diet will work.

Perhaps this is our modern obsession for the instant result? I want it and I want it now? With fast food, 24hr shopping and the credit card we have become used to getting what we want immediately. Or perhaps that instant gratification is concealing a bigger problem, ‘in the moment’ it makes you feel good (never mind that you might regret it later).

With weightloss you need to be looking at the longer term, after all the weight didn’t go on overnight, in fact it crept on so slowly that you probably didn’t notice until you found you had to buy clothes in the next size up, or you saw yourself in your holiday snaps and didn’t like what you saw!

Long term weightloss is about small changes that, over time, make big differences: making better food choices, moving a little more, reducing portion sizes a little at a time.

Ongoing motivation is the reason most people don’t approach weightloss in that way. It is so motivating to lose a few pounds in a week or to have people notice you have lost weight but in the long term these forms of motivation don’t keep the weight off. If you manage to lose all your excess weight, people will notice, they’ll say how amazing you look…but after a while they’ll get used to it and stop commenting – and they certainly won’t comment when you start to put it back on again!

Having a healthy, fit, body is a pleasure that has to come from within. It is the joy of self-esteem, loving yourself enough to feel you’re worth it, feeling that the world, and especially those you love, will benefit from you having a longer, healthy life and that you don’t need ‘stuff’ to give you value. These intrinsic goals are scientifically shown to improve outcomes, above the goals of looking better or dropping a couple of dress sizes. At the end of the day, you spend more time in your body looking out than you do looking at yourself (even when you really like what you are looking at in the mirror!).

When you find that true self-esteem within you losing weight won’t just be about how you look, it will be about expressing the wonderful, unique person that you are with energy, health and vitality!

Thinking Slim

Think Slim

By | Weight Loss | 29 Comments

When you think about losing excess weight your mind can work against you. Whether it’s thoughts of all the times you’ve tried and failed, or perhaps you’ve succeeded and then put it all back on. You may think off all those delicious treats you’ll be missing – cakes, chocolate or pastries. Or you could imagine all the hard work it’s going to be to fit exercising into your busy life.

These thoughts, and many more, are obscuring the real challenge, your identity. Weight problems are compartmentalised so that you see the little details and hope to change those without changing how you think about yourself and the first step to doing this is to listen to the beliefs you have.

‘It runs in the family’

‘I just can’t resist chocolate’

‘It’s my age’

‘I have a slow metabolism’

‘I’m too busy to exercise’

These are just some of the reasons you may give for being overweight. If you stop to analyse them they are really only excuses you are using to allow you to continue to hold on to a particular identity you feel comfortable with. Change is seen as a stressful process. So how do we make change easier?

Instead of focusing on the result you want – that you look slimmer, or the actions you take – to eat less and exercise more, you must focus on becoming the sort of person who is slim.

Your identity is tied to the beliefs you have about yourself and those beliefs are built by experiences that confirm them. For instance, if you see yourself as intelligent it may be because you did well in school, found it easy to pass exams and were told by others that you were clever. So to see yourself as the sort of person who is slim you start by modelling a slim person and every small win begins to confirm that new identity.

Modelling entails taking on the beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours of the type of person you want to identify with. So if you want to become a slim person you need to model a slim person, rather than an overweight person who has lost weight – a subtle but important difference. The trick is not to spend the rest of your life trying to be an overweight person who has lost weight, and so continually struggling to fight cravings or overeating, worrying about calories or fat content. Some people who have lost weight do become ‘slim people’ but many will always have a mindset which will keep them in that struggle.