Desperately seeking ‘THE ONE’!

Desperately seeking ‘THE ONE’!

 

Desperately seeking ‘THE ONE’

 

Have you ever desperately been in search of ‘the one’?
The magic bullet that will make weight loss easy?  Your ‘soul mate’ diet if you like?
I still get odd times where I wish ‘the one’ existed (even though I know it doesn’t!) – I think many of us do!
Hard not to when we are constantly bombarded with seductive ads for weight loss, and so many different and ‘new’ plans all claiming to finally be THE one!

 

Some of us misguidedly believe that we have found the one- the diet plan (or slimming company)  that worked for us once (perhaps twice), many years ago!
We believe if we could just stick to it, it would bring us happiness again just as it did the first time.  We believe that there must be some imperfection in us, that prevents us from being successful with it- after all it worked before!
This is exactly what happened to me!  I thought I’d found my holy grail, the answer to my prayers.  And at the time it was.

 

Unfortunately that time was 20 years ago!

 

The truth is that I kept clinging to the ‘slimming club solution’, even when it was no longer working.
I blamed myself for not being able to ‘stick to it’, for having no willpower.  
It felt scary to admit that what had worked for me once, wasn’t working it’s magic any more.
According to Linda Bacon in her book Health At Every Size, the reason that restriction diets aimed at weight loss stop working, is that each time we try to diet it becomes more difficult.  Our bodies and our brains become resistant.
Our bodies adapt to what they perceive as starvation, by lowering our metabolisms and at the same time upping our hunger cues.

 

It’s not us who are the problem, but the concept of dieting that creates the problem. 

There are many studies and statistics that prove this to be the case. (Read the book if you want to find out more- it’s really interesting, and gives a perspective that the diet industry is loathe to share with us!)

 

Just recently I had 2 conversations with 2 different clients, which really brought home to me how searching for ‘the one’ can keep us stuck where finding a happier relationship with both our bodies and with food is concerned.
The first client talked about continuing in her search of ‘trying to find something that would work for her’.  The second was in a panic desperate to lose weight quickly in time for a Christmas do.

 

In both cases I observed that in their search, they were looking for an external magic bullet………..and here’s the thing.  In my opinion, there isn’t one!
There is no diet, no eating plan, no weight loss company out there that has been proven to bring long term success!  It is well documented that the HUGE majority of people who manage to lose weight put it all back on again within 5 years (if not sooner!).
(If you don’t believe me, google ‘Statistics that show how diets fail’ and also reference your own personal experience and the experience of people you know.)

 

I believe our best hope is to make health our goal (not weight loss).

And then to look inwards. To ask ourselves what behaviour changes we are willing to make for the long term. And then to make the time to create new healthy habits- and to recognise that this isn’t all about food. (By the way, if you do want a different approach to eating ‘well’, then eating intuitively could be a solution)
It’s also about moving our bodies more, managing stress, drinking alcohol only in moderation and of course smoking and drugs are not part of a healthy lifestyle either.

 

Yeah sure, all diets work in the short term……….but if they worked long term how come there has been no improvement regarding the so called ‘obesity epidemic’?  How come so many of us are still desperately seeking ‘the one?’
Something to ponder, eh?
If you feel ready to get some support to help you finally leave diet culture behind, please ask to join my free Facebook group- Time to Heart<3 Your Body and Live Your Life <<<<click here and ask to join.

 

 

 

Ditching Diet Culture!

Ditching Diet Culture!

 

Ditching Diet Culture!

 

After 40 years of dieting and 15 years of working in the weight loss industry, I recently decided that the time has come for me to leave diet culture behind!
And I won’t lie!  It feels a bit scary!
Not just personally (what if I end up getting bigger, and bigger?), but for my business too.
When I stopped working for Weight Watchers a few years ago and trained as a Life Coach, I didn’t anticipate that I would get sucked back into working with clients on their weight management.  I absolutely LOVED life coaching  (and still do by the way!), yet so many of my contacts knew me as the weight loss expert.  And all the business advisers who were helping me, told me that having a niche was the thing to do.

BUT, while I was developing my business I was also reading around my subject.

 

About 2 years ago, I read a book called Body Respect by Linda Bacon which was a complete revelation to me.  It opened up a whole new perspective on the diet industry and on weight management in general.
I have also since, discovered whole Movements that I didn’t even know existed! The Health at Every Size Movement, The Body Positive Movement and the Body Image Movement to name a few.  What they all have in common is that they celebrate body diversity,  and fight weight stigma. They also give  an alternative voice, to the propoganda we have are all being been fed by diet culture.
Anyway the more I delved into the teachings of these movements, the more I felt that personally it was a good move for me to leave diet culture behind.  To learn to accept my body as it is.  To stop with the diets.  And although I still get days where I’m petrified of getting bigger than I am now, (I guess that’s to be expected after decades of buying into the message that in order to be worthy we need to be slim!), I feel like I am 75% there!

 

And OH the freedom!  Oh the relief!

 

I cannot believe it has taken me so long to see the light!

FINALLY, I can live my life in the present!
I am no longer waiting for the day when I am back at ‘goal’ in order to do all the things I want to do!  I don’t have to wait to be that elusive perfect weight in order to feel worthy, to feel comfortable in my own skin.
And I want this for my clients too!

The long and the short of it is that I have come to the decision that I no longer want to sell weight loss.

 

 

Here are the 2 main reasons I ended up being convinced that selling weight loss is selling a lie:

 

1. If there was an effective way of losing weight and keeping it off, we’d all be thin by now!
There are too many diets, weight loss companies, eating plans and diet books out there to count!
They all claim to be ‘the one’.  The thing is, even if just one of them was ‘the one’,  the so called ‘obesity epidemic’ would have been cured by now!
Yes, yes, yes, all diets work in the short term, we know that !  That’s how they seduce us in the first place.  But they obviously don’t work forever.
I kept coming back to this one fact- even with all these diets, still we are fat!
I just don’t  know why I had never seen this reality before!  Maybe I’d missed this obvious point, because we are made to believe that it’s us that’s the problem, not the weight loss plan!  I’m ashamed to say that I believed this in the past too, not just of myself but of also all of my slimming club members.
But surely if diets worked, the percentage success rate would be higher.
  And so onto my next point.
2. At least 95% of people who lose weight end up regaining it within 5 Years.
When I first read this statistic, it made me sad and then mad!  Why are we not told this information?
This article explains some of why it is never mentioned.  If you don’t have time to read the whole article right now here’s a quote from it-

 

Health experts are also afraid people will abandon all efforts to exercise and eat a nutritious diet — behaviour that is important for health and longevity — even if it doesn’t result in much weight loss.

Let me be clear that I will still be very much encouraging my clients to participate in healthful behaviours, I just can’t promise them lonterm weight loss as a definite outcome.
From my perspective, I think one of the reasons I felt uncomfortable sharing this message before, is that I was afraid of bursting everyone’s bubble, taking their weight loss dreams away from them.  I realise now that this is better than encouraging to spend the rest of their days obsessing about the size of their bodies and having a weird relationship with food.
The bottom line is the statistics are corroborated by what I have personally witnessed and experienced as an individual, and from working in the weight loss industry.  The few who did achieve their goal weight, invariably struggled to maintain it.

 

 

I’m sure you can imagine that this has been a really difficult decision for me, especially since I have been both selling and buying into the ideal of weight loss for so many years.
But I feel a burning and irrepressible need to share the body positive message with the world.  Even if my business crashes and burns (after all weight loss is a best seller, isn’t it?) at least I’ll have my integrity intact.
If you’d like to take the first steps in leaving diet culture behind please come and hang out in my free and private FB group, by clicking >>here<< and requesting to join.

 

Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!

Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!

Starting to unpick the dieting mentality that holds us back.

Ditch your ‘shoulds’ and embrace your ‘wants’!

 

How many times in a day do we get that feeling that we ‘should‘ be doing something?
When you think that thought- ‘I should do that’ how does it make you feel?
For me my heart sinks a little.  I feel dragged down.  I feel slight irritation. I usually feel guilty too.
‘Should’ is not a motivating word.
Yet ‘should’ appears so often in the mental vocabulary of us larger ladies.

 

I really should lose this weight!  I really should eat salad for lunch!  I really should join a gym!

 

One BIG reason so many of us feel that we ‘should’ lose weight, is that we are constantly told that overweight equals unhealthy.
But what if I told you that this might not be true??
HAES (Health at Every Size) is a movement that promotes body positivity and celebrates body diversity.
It claims that being overweight per se is not unhealthy, and provides lots of proof to back this claim.
The theory is that it’s certain behaviours that are unhealthy e.g. drinking excess alchohol, smoking, lack of nutrients in our diets and lack of movement; and that it’s these behaviours that lead potentially to  poor health regardless of whether the person is overweight or not.
I have to say that this makes sense to me.

 

 

You might at this point accuse me of wishful thinking

……but look, here’s the thing.  We all know that if you are a smoker , it doesn’t matter whether you are fat or thin- smoking is unhealthy.  (In fact this article indicates that, ‘overall, mortality risk is smaller in overweight or obese ex-smokers than normal-weight smokers.’)
So it makes sense to me that an overweight body which participates in good nutrition, regular exercise and drinks alcohol sparingly (and of course is also a non-smoker), is healthier than a slim person who does the opposite.

 

In any case perhaps an even bigger problem is that whilst being overweight is demonised by society as being unhealthy, and whilst for decades now ‘weight loss’ has been the prescribed cure for many ailments – yet still as a society we aren’t getting any slimmer.   We are being prescribed something that does not appear to be achieveable in the long term.

 

 

Anyway, getting back to the point of ‘shoulds’ being unmotivating

 

Now that I have shared a 4 pronged health strategy with you,  my fear is that you may think you have some new ‘shoulds’ to add to your already long list of ‘shoulds’.  And believe me that’s not my intention.
So let me flip this a bit and ask you –

Do you WANT to either maintain your current health, or to improve it?

(I’m assuming your answer is ‘yes’??)

If so, which behaviours do you WANT to change?

 I believe in order to make permanent change in your life you have to WANT to, and you also have to be WILLING to do what it takes to create that change.

 

‘SHOULD’ just won’t cut it in the long term.
In fact immediately we eliminate ‘SHOULDS’  we also eliminate the need for rebellion.  We reduce the likelihood of guilt; we don’t feel so dragged down by it all.
We are more likely to take action.
So let me urge you to choose WANT instead!
WANT automatically brings less resistance with it.
WANT is empowering.

 

Imagine……..what if you no longer felt you ‘should’ lose weight?  Or you didn’t need to ‘should’ exercise more?
What if you really WANTED to take better care of your health?  What possibilities lay ahead for you and your body then?

 

I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below!

 

PS Would you like to join a body positive community?
Then click >>here<< and ask to join my new FREE Facebook group- Time to heart your body and live your life.  It officially opens on 1st December 2017.  Hope to see you over there 🙂

 

The ‘Tipping Point’ when you decide ‘enough is enough!’

The ‘Tipping Point’ when you decide ‘enough is enough!’

 

So what I discovered as a result of a recent facebook live I did (see below), is that what I have now decided to call the ‘tipping point’, is something that many of us relate to.
It seems those of us who have suffered for a long time with body dissatisfaction because of our size, seem to regularly have a moment where we tip.
This might happen when we look in a mirror and suddenly feel total disappointment with our reflection.
It might be a number on the scales that really depresses us.
It could be that there is an impending social event that requires dressing up for, and this scares the bejeebers out of us.
Have a peek at the video now, and see what comes up for you!  (The competition I talk about in this video is now over, and the lucky winner was notified in Sept 2017)

 

 

Anyway, whatever we want to call it, the benefit of it is that it can motivate us (or panic us) into action.
My question is ‘for how long?’.
My experience is that this ‘panic point’  can be useful in getting us motivated maybe once, twice or 3 times, but not indefinately.
Over time it loses it’s impact, especially for those of us who have a longstanding challenge with managing our weight….whilst it still may have the effect of springboarding us into action, the action doesn’t last.  Because we have repeated the cycle too often.

 

The novelty has worn off if you like.  And the shock, disgust and disappointment we feel for our bodies, does not motivate us to eat healthier, instead it wears us down.

 

In panic mode we may also start hunting around for the ‘best’ diet; the one that will give us the ‘quickest results’.  Or even better, what if we could find the magic bullet that would mean perfect body, minimal effort.
Reality check- there ain’t no such thing!  Not that will lead us to long term weight management anyway.  If diets really worked, why are there SO many of them and why is everyone still dieting?

 

This is why after so many years of experiencing the tipping point myself and observing others experiencing it too, I’ve come to the conclusion that we are doing things the wrong way round.
So my suggestion is that we take our head out of the sand now, take a deep breath and make the decision to start appreciating and liking our bodies as they are right now.
This will allow us to clear the way to WANTING to take the best possible care of our poor unappreciated and disrespected bodies.  And it’s only once we embed new behaviours that are linked to PROPER self-care i.e. good nutrition, management of chronic stress, exercise, learning to soothe our emotions in ways that don’t always involve food AND finding kinder ways of ‘talking’ to our bodies, that we will then clear the way to making peace with them.
How about it?  After all how many more times do YOU want to hit that ‘tipping point’?

 

Trusting in your own food choices!

Trusting in your own food choices!

Trusting in your own food choices!

Some of my clients will tell you how disappointed I was to discover that it wasn’t me who invented the concept of ‘Intuitive eating’!
I honestly thought that no one else had thought of it.  The phrase had just cropped up naturally during a 1-2-1 session with a client, and I’d got all excited about it.  I felt as though I’d stumbled onto something that could help the millions.
Luckily I had the intuition (!) to google it, before I wrote the book and got the t-shirts made 🙂
Anyway if you google it too, you’ll finds reams of information.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods. It’s a process that is intended to create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, making it a popular treatment for disordered eating and eating disorders. Intuitive eating, just like many other dieting philosophies, goes by many names, including non-dieting or the non-diet approach, normal eating, wisdom eating, conscious eating and more.
This is my take on ‘intuitive eating’:
It goes like this:  those of us who have followed diets, plans or programmes (whatever you want to call them) over a period of years have lost the ability to listen to what our bodies’ need in terms of nutrition.

We have become accustomed to following someone else’s rules on what we should and should not eat, and as a result we label foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

We also label ourselves ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on whether or not we have stuck to the diet rules.   This has led us to not being able to trust ourselves to know what or how much to eat.  The result for many of us who struggle with our weight is that we have come to believe that we only like to eat the ‘bad’ stuff.  And/or we will feel deprived if we don’t have it.
Because I have been ‘watching my weight’ since my teens, the only times during my adult life that I have allowed myself to trust ME to choose what to eat was when I was pregnant.
During my pregnancies I let myself off the dieting hook, and inadvertently ate intuitively.
Surprisingly I craved fruit, especially peaches and nectarines and only gained 20lbs with each of my 3. Yet when I went back to ‘dieting’ after the births, I seemed to go back to craving biscuits, chocolate and crisps and guess what?
I gained more weight after having the babies, than I had before!
I noticed whilst away a long weekend recently, some of the benefits of eating intuitively.
My aim before I went was to relax, yet listen to my body.
Before each eating opportunity while I was away,  I sniffed the air, smacked my tongue to the roof of my mouth and asked myself: was I hungry and if so what did I REALLY fancy to eat.
On 1 occasions I fancied chips, another time I had a Thai chicken curry and then there was the amazingly delicious cheesy omelette (I must have needed protein that day!).  But my tongue smacking also led me to buying bananas and apples in the supermarket, passing on cake in the afternoon (Whaaaat? I honestly didn’t fancy it- but I did have a hot chocolate no cream-too claggy for me!).
I didn’t have a single dessert but on Saturday and Sunday, (not Friday) I fancied some wine, and I had a lovely cakey/bun thing for breakfast with my banana on Saturday.  I totally enjoyed my intuitive eating experience and was half a pound lighter when I returned home.

Now I’m definitely not suggesting anyone abandons everything they have learnt about healthy eating all in one fell swoop.

But I am suggesting that where food is concerned, there is opportunity for some of us to practise listening to our bodies a bit more. The first step would be just to pause, and think about whether we are hungry; and if we are then with a little smack of the tongue, we could ask ourselves what we fancy.
We may surprise ourselves by finding that sometimes we really do fancy a bit of salad or a nice chicken breast.
I know some of you will be reading this and thinking ‘Yeah, right! Left to my own devices all I will intuitively want to eat is chocolate!

 

What many people find though, is that once the chocolate is no longer considered ‘bad’ and they know that if they want some they can have some, the pull is no longer so strong.
What do you think? Do you already listen to your body? Do you know someone to whom eating intuitively comes naturally? Please talk to me in the comments!
Bye for now
Anna x