Category Archives: Weight Loss

Why is it so hard to lose weight? (Video)

Do you struggle with your weight? Have you successfully dieted only to find yourself putting more weight back on when you stop? Do you have friends that seem to be able to eat whatever they want without gaining weight? This video explains it all!

We all love a success story

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This morning, I read this story in my local newspaper “Laura loses 9 stone in just 25 weeks”

We all love a success story. This is someone who lost weight very quickly on the Cambridge diet. It’s an extreme diet that puts your body into famine mode by allowing a very low calorific input per day.

Your mind and body is very familiar with looking at the environment and changing the way you metabolise food. In the Caveman days you regularly had periods of feast and periods of famine. To give you the best chance of survival, your subconscious constantly tweaks your metabolism based on availability of food, and based on risks in your environment. If there is a chance something will hurt you, then fat needs storing round your middle so it’s easily available as fuel when you need to run. Your brain will take as much as it can from the food you eat and store it for easy access.

Famine is not a permanent state – so a diet that puts you into famine mode is not sustainable long term. As soon as you “come off” the diet your subconscious will kick your body into feast mode and you will quickly re-stock the weight you lost – and more – to give you the best chance of surviving the next period of famine.

People who battle their weight can be desperate for an easy and quick solution. This is why gastric bands are so popular. But the only permanent solution starts in the head. Any attempt to physically change without addressing the mental addiction to food will most likely lead to you finding a way to override the physical limitations. 

Yes, of course it’s possible to take an extreme approach to lose a lot of weight. But is it really possible to use that same approach to keep that weight off for the rest of your life? Will Laura be able to stick to the Cambridge Diet for as long as the next 10 years? What happens when she has a birthday? Or has a holiday and can’t use the pre-prepared meals? As soon as she starts eating “normally” again her mind and body will kick back into feast and famine mode.

So I work with the head first. I get rid of the reason for needing the weight on – whether it is an emotional meaning that food has, or a self confidence need to use size for protection – I help you let go of the reason behind your weight. It may be slower to lose weight but it frees you up from dieting for life. Within 6 weeks my clients are on track to permanent weight change without needing further support from me. For as little as £160 GBP I can help you break out of the diet cycle for life.

Email dawn@thinkitchangeit.com if you’re ready to break out of the diet cycle.

Empathy

empathyYou might assume that to be a good therapist you need to be able to empathise with clients.

To empathise means to understand and share the feelings of another.

I could not possible understand and share the feelings of every client that I see.

Even if I could, it would be irrelevant because we all live in our own version of reality and the way I experience something bears no relationship to the way you experience that same thing.

I can’t possibly know what you are feeling. We are all unique.

To help you, I don’t need to understand you. I am a problem solver. You present me with a problem that is getting in the way of your life, and my job is to free you up from that problem.

I don’t care how you live your life. I only care that you have the freedom to make your own choices without your subconscious getting in the way.

After my court case I felt I needed to share my personal experience to help people understand how much I can help them. The problem is, every time I share my experiences I am empathising in some way with you. I am giving away a piece of me to connect with you. That’s not how I work as a therapist, so why would it be right for me to do that to bring people to me for help.

I have realised that if I empathise I drag myself into an experience. That’s not good for me and it’s not good for you.

What I do know is that I can always help you if you’ll let me. I know that with absolute certainty because of where I am now after what I went through. That’s where my experiences help. Not because of what happened but because of moving on from them.

Where my experience really counts is when I have a client in my chair and they are in bad place. I know I can help them move on.

So in the way I work, empathy has very little role to play. Neither does my past experience.

I have never smoked but I can help you stop smoking.

I have never been afraid of flying but I can help you get over that phobia.

I have struggled with weight but that doesn’t make me better at helping you with your weight loss.

I can help you because I don’t need to empathise to help you change. I can help you because I am a problem solver.

Overcoming food addiction

I have been lucky enough to have a couple of articles posted lately on some pretty major websites.

The first was on the Huffington Post US site. You can read it here. The Huffington Post Facebook page has nearly 5 million likes.

The second was on Wake Up World, which is an Australian site but has a global reach with over 2 million Facebook likes. You can read it here.

But this post is not about that.

This post is about Phil.

phil before and after

Phil is a financial advisor based up in Aberdeen. I started working with Phil just before Christmas 2014.

Phil is a great supporter of what I do. Every time I get an article out there or write a blog post, Phil shares it. When he hears friends struggling, he suggests that I can help.

The thing that really makes me smile is that every time Phil shares one of my posts with his friends, he says how much weight he has now lost.

On the 24th March, when the Huffington Post article was posted, he said he’d lost 3.5 stone (49 pounds).

On the 20th April, when he shared the Wakeup World post, he said he’d now lost 4 stone (56 pounds)

I need these photos to make sure I recognise him next time I see him!

But I also want to call out an important detail. Look at Phil’s smile. It’s just the same. He has a great smile. How we look does not define us. We are all so much more than our appearance. Whilst my clients often measure progress by weight loss, I don’t. The work I do is about making you happy with yourself. Our work together address so much more than just how you look.

So if you lose weight after working with me, that’s great. If you don’t, but gain the ability to be happy, that’s great too.

Get in touch if you would like my help to be happy with being you.

dawn@thinkitchangeit.com

Weight – Your brain decides

In the caveman days, there would be a certain pattern that our life would follow.

Caveman-2-JPEGFirstly there was the time after we had caught a woolly mammoth. The was a period of feast. As well as eating for survival, your mind would guide your body to store fat and nutrients from what you ate. This would mean that during the inevitable periods of famine that followed, you would have plenty of reserves to give you best chance of survival for as long as possible.

Then food would run out. You would have no idea when the next catch would be and so you entered a period of famine. During a period of famine everything had to change around from a mind/body perspective. The focus would be on using the nutrients and energy from anything you consumed, and only tapping into your reserves as a last resort. After all, who was to know how long a period of famine would last.

Whether in feast or famine, your mind/body relationship is programmed to give you the best chance of survival.

Now fast forward to the current day and think about a diet. A diet is a period where you deprive yourself of food – either by quantity or by type of food. To your brain this is famine and it adapts accordingly.

And then you have time off a diet. Because everybody does;  a birthday, a holiday, or just fed up of trying. To your brain this is feast and once more it will adapt accordingly by stocking up your reserves again.

This is why diets work in terms of losing weight, but then you put it back on again – and some. And each time you diet you lose weight, and gain more until it gets to a point where you have to make a superhuman effort to diet. And you probably feel a failure – like you are no good at dieting. But all you are doing is exactly what your mind and body are designed to do.

This ability of the brain to decided how to metabolise what you eat, based on environmental/emotional factors, can also be the reason why some people feel ‘unfairly’ overweight because they don’t eat that much. If your brain has a reason for you to keep the weight on ( e.g a suit to hide behind or having to be likeable as a person if you can’t use your size as an excuse) then no matter what you try, it will ensure the weight doesn’t come off.

I can help. I can get you out of that diet cycle by freeing you up from food or your size having any meaning – leaving you the freedom to choose to be whoever you want to be.

Why not email dawn@thinkitchangeit.com today? You will see changes from the first session in your relationship with food and yourself. And I can usually help you in as little as 3 sessions spread over 6 weeks.

Maybe today is the day…

Be in their moment, don’t hide from it

IMG_1504[1]One day we were in the changing rooms of the swimming baths and I was telling my daughter not to open the door to our cubicle as we got changed. She piped up:

Don’t worry mummy, your belly covers your bits

It was true. It was an innocent statement made by her based on what she saw. Not based on any form of judgement.

These days I am comfortable enough in my own skin that I don’t care. I smiled and told her she made a good point and we carried on laughing and giggling as we got changed.

In the past that might have caused me a problem. But my weight doesn’t define me. And it’s changing. I’m changing.

How I look doesn’t matter to her.

What I do doesn’t matter to her.

All that matters to her is how I make her feel.

When she looks back on photos and reflects on memories when she’s older, it won’t be what size I was that she remembers. It will be what she was doing and how she felt.

My daughter knows that beauty on the inside is way more important than beauty on the outside. My daughter knows we are all different and that’s what makes people interesting and amazing.

She doesn’t care what size I am or if I have make up on. She doesn’t even care if we have a hug when I have just got back from a run and am hot and sweaty!

She doesn’t care if the photo we’ve just taken together shows me with a double chin. What she sees is her mum and she loves me. What she sees is how much fun we were having as she remembers what we were doing at the time.

We are not remembered for what we do. We are remembered for how we make people feel.

So next time you try and hide from that photo or cringe at a comment made by your kid that makes you self-conscious – remember that. Be in their moment, don’t hide from it. You might regret it later in your life if you do.

The scales are as relevant as the weather

Look at this image

Or this one

When I work with weight loss or eating disorder clients they are used to using the scales as a measure of progress.

Think about it, how many of you want to lose weight so you can take the scales around with you and then, when you meet someone, throw them on the ground and say “Look how much I weigh!”?

There are many different reasons for wanting to lose weight but the reality is that it is not really about shifting the number on a dial. It is the medical profession that uses that as a generic measure so they can categorise you and issue generic advice. But we are all unique. We are not generic. What weight means to you is different to everyone else.

Everyone is a different shape and size. That’s ok. Unless you are not ok with it. I am sure you know someone who has complained about something to do with their physical appearance and you can’t see anything wrong with them.

Weight is a perception not a fact.

When you eat more you feel fatter. When you exercise you feel slimmer. Weight is based on how you feel and how you see yourself, not a number on the scale

So next time you are trying to lose weight, ditch the scales. Either use a tap measure as per the diagram below:

Or, even better, find something that is a little too tight and try it on once a week. Let’s face it, the main reason most of us want to lose weight is to look better and feel better in clothes. So that is your best measure.

Meanwhile; if you are tired of the battle, if you have worked really hard over the years and lost weight but always put it back on (and some), if you think it’s time to try something different, then why not try my special offer.

In celebration of my anniversary in July I am offering my weight loss coaching** for ONLY £100.

Hurry though, this offer ends on the 31st July!

**learn all about my weight loss coaching package here but make sure you come back and click on this button otherwise you will end up paying the full price of £149.95

The Tortoise and the Hare

Slow and steady wins the race.

That’s what we’ve always been told and the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare reinforces that.

Why do we need a whole bunch of moral-based stories to tell us the blindingly obvious?

Because it goes against our innate nature to pass over something that gives us instant gratification in favour of a bigger long term benefit.

When studying the decision making process in The Decisive moment Lehrer came across a study where people were offered a sum of money right now or sum of money 3 times bigger in 3 weeks time. Most took the money right now.

Because that’s what we need. Something right now.

When we are setting New Years Resolutions we tend to set them for things we are going to start in January, rather than what we want to have achieved by the end of the year.

When we are desperate to lose weight we want to see instant results from whatever approach we use and will often err towards that in the form of extreme diets in favour of slower steadier permanent weight loss.

Given the choice to pay £5 a week for years or £150 as a once off up front – most people will choose £5 a week.

Banks now show interest on savings monthly rather than an annual statement like you used to get. Current accounts allow you to generate interest because it’s easier to accept “saving” money you can get your hands on right now than money that might be locked away for a few months.

Our brain needs to see/feel/understand/hear results of anything we set out to do to believe it is possible.

To keep going without immediate results? That takes determination and belief.

It is possible to beat your brain. To beat your innate tendency towards instant gratification but you need to consciously take action.

Try these steps.

1. Think of the future you as a hologram or image. By future I mean at least 1 year ahead of now.

2. Close your eyes and notice everything about that person. If you were a fly on the wall what would you notice about them? Where are they? What is around them? How do they look? What are they wearing?

3. Think about the skills and capabilities you have that make that you in the future possible e.g. Strength, determination, creativity, technical skills.

4. If there was a colour or even an object that represented the person in the future what might it be? Some people might say a tiger, or a rock or just red or yellow or a cube or anything. Whatever comes to mind first.

So this is your goal. The person you want to become. You can think of it like a beacon if you like – something to point your conscious and subconscious mind at as the person you want to become.

And now, when you think about the things you need to do to get there it doesn’t matter if you start them tomorrow or in 6 months time because that goal is far enough in the future that instant gratification doesn’t count for anything.

Each single action, each single step,  that takes you towards the person you want to become is success.

So what are you going to do next?

And if you need my help because something is getting in the way of that person you know you can be just email dawn@thinkitchangeit.com and we’ll see what we can do together.

What do you think of the new Weight Watchers adverts?

I was sitting at my computer doing some work this morning while everyone else in the house slept. I was listening to the radio and a Weight Watchers advert came on. The advert involved a woman talking about the difference losing weight through Weight Watchers had made to her life and she said that it had allowed her to become closer to her daughter.

I did a double take. Really? In what way does losing weight using a restricted diet allow you to become closer to someone? Are we all supposed to feel so bad about ourselves that losing weight allows us to connect to our kids?

I was surprised that they would choose that as a message to promote their product. I was talking about it on Twitter and this comment from a friend made me smile

only reason should be because less fat means you can get your arms further around her when you hug

I know many people resolve to lose weight in a new year especially after the over-indulgence at Christmas. And I know that all the diet companies go all out on their marketing to capitalise on that. But really? do they have to promote this image between being good enough and being overweight? They are as bad as the people who use size zero models for clothes as far as I am concerned.

The way to be closer to your kids is to lead by example.

In this house we don’t talk about appearances, weight, clothes size etc. My daughter is 5 and has a natural healthy relationship with food as all kids do until adults try and influence them. I may not be 100% happy with my size yet but that has not bearing on who I am as a person. I teach my daughter not to judge based on appearance. In fact I spend a lot of time teaching her not to judge at all and to understand we are all different and we all have our stuff.

She has started referring to people as having a fat belly – clearly people at school are using that language. I tell her not to refer to people based on how they look. So she asked “Mummy, what does fat mean?”

“It means different things to different people” I explained “some people might get upset by the word fat and you wouldn’t want to upset someone would you?”

“No” she replies

“So because it might upset someone and you never know it’s better not to ever call anyone fat isn’t it?” I say

My daughter knows I help people for a leaving and says she wants to do that when she grows up. She knows to be kind and to be careful not to upset people.

I try, as much as possible, to lead by example.

In day to day practice we don’t talk about content of food by the labels or nutritional content but instead talk about growing food and treat food. If she’s hungry or it’s mealtime she needs to eat growing food. If she’s eaten enough growing food then it’s ok to have some treat food.

A while back I was driving back from Aviemore and hadn’t planned for lunch. This was bad of me because my daughter needs a wheat free diet so it is not easy to grab something. All I had was chocolates so when daughter complained of being hungry I offered her them “They won’t stop me being hungry” she said. It made me smile because that’s exactly what I wanted her to learn.

We also praise her for knowing when she’s had enough. Kids listen to their bodies. They eat when they are hungry and don’t when they are not. It is adult that enforce rules about when you should eat and how much etc. When my daughter has eaten enough and chooses to leave food because she’s full we tell her “well done you”. And she knows, of course, that unless she’s eaten enough growing food she won’t get treat food.

How we look does not define who we are. Changing how you look may make you feel better in yourself but it also may not. It is unethical, in my opinion, to market a diet by saying it will improve your self esteem.