Does this resonate with you?
Summer has come to an end. You’ve been on your summer holiday and your fun was somewhat dampened because you were very self-conscious about you how you looked in your swimwear. You really didn’t feel great about how you looked at the beach, or by the pool, and then to add to your discomfort you also ended up giving yourself a hard time because you didn’t keep your commitment to get yourself beach ready YET AGAIN.
If you can relate to that experience, or something similar then you’re not alone! It’s a horrible place to be and certainly lessens the joy of a holiday in sunnier climes. You’ve not doubt already told yourself that you don’t want that feeling again and have recommitted to getting in shape before next year’s holiday… but will you follow through this time?
It IS possible to feel different about your body, next year could be a whole different story – read on to find out more.
This experience can bring up much discomfort for people. Society, and we in turn, place massive expectations on ourselves to have the perfect holiday body or at least feel OK about our bodies being on show. For many it’s often a last minute panic, involving a ridiculous and unsustainable crash diet combined with a crazy exercise regime, to lose a few extra pounds before getting on the plane. Does this really work? Now, be honest. does it? If you are one of the few who achieved body confidence this summer, then congratulations! If you are still reading this, then chances are you are one of the many who didn’t.
We live in a society where we are bombarded with images of celebrities looking gorgeous. A ‘shame’ culture has evolved whereby if we don’t live up to these highly unrealistic comparisons we feel rubbish about ourselves. The awful irony is the worse we feel about ourselves the more we turn to food to comfort ourselves.
Now the Therapist in me really wants to say the answer is self acceptance and it doesn’t matter what you look like. I’ve certainly learnt to accept my big bum and even love it a little bit through lots of work on changing my beliefs about myself. However, this is not the answer for most, at least not straight away. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and have a better relationship with food. So what can we do?
We can start addressing how we feel about our bodies whilst losing the excess weight that is making us unhappy. Long term weight loss is often a time consuming process. Have you found yourself losing half a stone only to put it on again and repeated this cycle countless times over? Why doesn’t this approach work?
Because true, sustained weight loss is an inside job. We need to be looking at our habits around food and WHY they are there in order to change them and lose the weight FOR GOOD.
Maybe there is a different way….
There are several things you can start do do to take control of your weight.
- Notice when you are eating
Start to pay attention to when and what you are eating. Really be present with it. What’s motivating the desire for chocolate (or whatever it is you crave)? Had a difficult conversation at work? Feeling overwhelmed? Angry? Anxious? Identify the feeling behind the hunger, in other words ask yourself “What am I really hungry for?”. In starting to develop an awareness of what we overeat we are taking the first step to manage it and look at alternatives.
- Keep a food diary with a difference
Forget slimming clubs’ calorie tracking. Start to write down when you are overeating and what feeling is triggering it. Do this for a week and you will start to become very aware of your patterns. You can start preparing for your moments of weakness if you know what causes them.
- Get help with the underlying stuff
What is your predominant eating trigger? If it’s sadness for example, why are you feeling sad and what can you do to help yourself? It may be a combination of things. These feelings won’t go away by themselves and stuffing them down with food isn’t helping. Consider talking to a friend or therapist if you are feeling alone in this.
- Be clear and realistic about what you want
Write down what you want to achieve and make it as clear and detailed as possible. Do you want to be a certain clothes size? Get into a particular pair of jeans? See a specific amount on the scales. Think about WHY you want this and be realistic – is it really possible to weigh the same as when you were 18? A 1-2 lb loss a week is realistic. How do you want to feel?
- Visualise how you want to be
Create a vivid image in your mind of what you want to achieve. What will you look like in the mirror? How will you stand? What will your friends say to you? How will you feel in a nice new dress? Making this image as real as possible, using all your senses helps you to make it real.
- Start making changes
Now you know why you are overeating and can see a clear future for yourself, start to make the changes necessary. Evaluate what has and hasn’t worked before. If the 5:2 diet left you hungry and grumpy why would you attempt it again? Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to help you to manage cravings and the desire to overeat and snack. Combined with the work on underlying reasons for overeating, hypnosis can help you to undo a lifetime of poor habits and create new, desirable ones (such as replacing sugary food with healthy options). It can help you to achieve your goals without the struggles you may have experienced previously. Tapping into the subconscious mind bypasses our rational mind or ‘monkey mind’ and can produce incredible changes without us having to try too hard. What you do need is the intention to change.
Taking these steps can help you to start making long terms changes to lose weight and feel better about your body. Would you like to avoid those same feelings about your body next summer? Wouldn’t it be great to be free of that pre-holiday dread? If your answer is ‘yes’ then start today!
Weight management and emotional eating in particular is something I am passionate about. I’ve worked with many clients who successfully lost the weight using a 2-pronged attack: Tackling the overeating using hypnosis and working on the underlying issues at the same time. So if you’d like additional support to lose your excess weight and get in shape once and for all, then here are a couple of ways I can help:
1-1 Weight Loss Programme – My individual weight management programme covers all of the above in greater depth and teaches you how to create an intelligent relationship with food, become free of cravings and take back control.GO TO 1-1 PROGRAMME
Weight Loss Group Programme – 8-week group programme : Learn to manage your weight in a supportive group setting.GO TO GROUP PROGRAMME
Become the best version of yourself and take steps to begin the change today!