It’s true when people say your body is your temple – you get out of what you put in.
If you constantly put junk food in, you will more than likely feel sluggish. If you are constantly stressed this can cause an imbalance in the body and may lead to eating those junk foods that you are trying so hard to avoid.
To help you get the most out of your day and give your mind and body a boost here is a sample day that you might want to try.
Upon waking: Take time to stretch out all your muscles then start the day with a glass of hot water with a lemon slice added to it.
Breakfast: 2 slices of wholemeal toast with a boiled egg, followed by a piece of fruit.
Mid Morning: Grab yourself a mug of herbal tea and take a few minutes to do some relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga. Grab yourself a healthy snack if you’re peckish (carrot sticks and hummus, pickles, rice crackers, or cottage cheese are all great choices).
Lunch: Prawn salad with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, beetroot, pickles and a light/fat-free vinaigrette or salad dressing. Follow with a piece of fruit and a low-fat yogurt.
Mid Afternoon: Take another few minutes out to have a full body stretch, a small walk or to practice the relaxation technique again. Grab another mug of herbal tea and a healthy snack if hungry.
Dinner: Chicken breast topped with passata, herbs and thinly sliced mozzarella (cooked in the oven so the cheese melts), served with mixed vegetables and baby potatoes. Finish off with a fruit salad topped with natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
Early Evening: Go for a swim, walk the dog or do an exercise DVD at home – burn away those stresses of the day and get that blood flowing! Don’t forget to re-hydrate with plenty of water afterwards. If you’re feeling peckish why not have a handful of nuts or a small bowl of high fibre cereal such as Weetabix or Bran Flakes.
Before Bed: Run yourself a warm bubble bath, add a few drops of lavender oil and relax. Follow with a mug of hot chocolate before you head off to bed to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep.
You’ve probably heard about the Law of Attraction, positive thinking and using visualization to help reach your goals, perhaps you’ve already brushed these off as a waste of time. It’s not going to help you lose weight is it? But what if I told you it WOULD?
A surprising fact is that many conditions can be improved by visualization and weight loss is one of them. It works like this: you keep a vision in your mind of how you want your body to look, and subconsciously you will begin acting in a way that will go in that direction. You become much more positive about your body, more accepting of your diet or fitness regime, and you will reach your weight goals more quickly and easily.
Effecting change through visualizing desired outcomes has become more and more acceptable in recent years with the rise of mindfulness and a shift in focus to our own personal well-being. Psychologists do not understand exactly how it works but clearly the mind and body are not as separate as we often believe. It seems that if you truly want something it is more likely to happen – provided of course that it is something that is possible, and within your control. Visualization helps us to truly want to lose weight by creating a clear and happy picture of our fitter bodies. Without this we can often put psychological traps in our own path.
Many people who are overweight believe they cannot lose weight. Sometimes you may say it out loud, or hear friends say it about themselves. It was one of those things I often heard when I was at Slimming World: “you can’t eat all that when your dieting”. Well they were wrong, I could and I did but for some people this negativity settles itself into your mind, puts the kettle on and settles down nice and cosy on the ‘mind sofa’. These negative beliefs then stay in the subconscious mind and influences our behavior.
Someone who believes it is impossible for her to lose weight will be constantly battling her own negativity when she is trying to diet. Her mind will be constantly telling her there is no point dieting, she cannot lose weight so she should just go ahead and eat everything she wants. Just the same as the dieter who always begins their diet on a Monday and if things go wrong mid-week they allow themselves to go off track saying “Oh well, I’ll start again on Monday”. In these circumstances visualization is the strongest technique that we can use to overcome these negative thoughts and impulses (apart from a weight loss hypnotherapy session with me that is … sorry, shameless plug!).
If you are plagued by negativity either from your own mind or from the reactions of friends and family to your diet, go ahead and visualize yourself at your desired weight as often as you can. Make a mental picture of yourself at your ideal weight, see it clearly in your mind in ful colour. Hear the positive compliments people pay you on your new shape and how well you’ve done. Notice what you are wearing and what you are doing on in this imaginary scene and notice how you feel inside to have reached this goal. Make the visions strong and really let yourself experience the positive emotions. It works on the same level as all those negative voices and can annihilate their influence like nothing else can.
It is important to practice this visualization technique every day – morning and evening if you can. You just need to take a few minutes in a quiet place and keep an image in your mind of your body at its ideal weight. Some people can do this easily, others need some help. If you have a photograph of yourself at your ideal weight in the past, you may find it easier to look at that. Or use a photo from a magazine but cut off the person’s face. You need to visualize your own body, but thinner.
You can also visualize from the inside. Close your eyes and let your awareness focus on a part of your body – for example, your right thigh. Imagine it slowly becoming thinner in your mind’s eye. Then move to the other thigh, and on through the body. It may help to start at the feet and move up towards the head, or vice versa.
As you go about your work or daily chores, think of yourself as already at your ideal weight. Create your own affirmations and repeat them often, always in the present tense (“I am glad to be healthy, fit and slim”, “I feel amazing today”, not “I will …”). Enjoy the feeling of having a positive self-image. Over time, this will help you to keep to your weight loss plan. You will find that fatty foods are less attractive and exercise is more enjoyable.
While your weight loss will of course be gradual, the wonderful thing about visualization is that it gives you a new body image right away. Use visualization and weight loss to make you happier right now, today and don’t forget to let me know how this works out for you!
I often share pictures of my clients progress on my social media (with their permission of course!) as I believe it’s good for you to see real results of the treatments I do.
However, those who have met me will know that I battle with my own weight and have on and off for years! So in January, having realised I didn’t want to be a fat, frumpy and fed up 35 year old anymore, and with the support of my husband (and his lovely gift of a gym membership), we began to make some major changes to our lifestyle.
We joined the gym on the 2nd January and we’ve been going three to four times a week. I do circuit training, following a program designed my my trainer, Danny. My plan is to build more muscle as that burns the fat faster (see exercise has its perks!).
In addition to this we have really cut out the crap from our diet. We’re eating much healthier: omelettes, salads, traditional cooked meals, made from scratch. We’ve switched from normal pasta to whole grain pasta and our long grain rice to basmati rice (it has a lower GI so won’t spike your blood sugar as much). On an evening we snack on fruit and yogurt and I’ve cut back on the wine (that was the hardest!).
So we’ve made some pretty significant changes, but it’s not all salad and smoothies – we still have a ‘treat night’ every Saturday. We might have a takeaway, go out for a meal or just watch a movie with crisps and chocolate … And I have a glass or two of wine (usually Red because it’s full of antioxidants of course!).
I also gave myself a little helping hand (or handset) by carrying out some cryolipolysis on my upper and lower abdomen. Freezing those pesky fat cells will help get rid of some of my extra and unwanted fat cells that I hold around my tummy (perks of the job!). It’s not just for vanity reasons (well, maybe 98% of it is) but by holding excess fat around the abdomen its putting my health and my heart at risk by increasing my risk of weight elated diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Our first month of our new routine passed last week and so we did our gym stats. My hubby went first, he’d lost 3kg (approx 6.5lbs) and 3% of body fat. He’d done so well and he didn’t really have much to lose as he’s quite slender anyway. Having heard his results I was expecting better … I’ve got way more to lose after all.
So to the scales I went, full of excited anticipation and stepped on to discover … I’d lost just under 2kg (approx 4lb) and only 0.5% body fat. I was gutted! I’d expected so much more. So do you know what I did? I cried! Yes, like a total muppet I let the tears wash down my face and exclaimed how unfair it was that Gary (my husband) had done better than me when I’d worked so hard.
At this point it would have been so easy to give up, to stuff my face with all the things I’ve been depriving myself of but I didn’t, I waited to compare our before pictures with how I looked before we started and how I look now after a month. You see sometimes things may not show on the scales, they may not show on measurements but visually you can see a difference or even feel a difference in how your clothes fit … we often get hung up unnecessarily on weights and measurements. So the pictures were taken and I put them side by side in a collage… And see a difference I did. I was getting a waist and my tummy didn’t look as bad. I could even see improvements to my legs and bum (but I’m not quite ready to share that image yet!)
So the reason I’ve shared this story (and picture) with you all is so you can see that I have the same issues and hang ups as you. I understand what it’s like to not like what you see in a mirror. I am on the same journey as you and our journeys can have many stop offs or diversions along the way but we will reach our destination in the end providing we keep our strength and keep going.
You CAN do it and you WILL do it. It just takes time and determination, so never give up!
If you need a helping hand then I’m here, whether it’s to coach you, to help tackle your destructive mind (and our minds can be our worst enemies) with hypnotherapy or to reshape your figure with one of my body treatments. I’m just a normal, down to earth gal wanting to help other normal, down to earth gals (and guys) look and feel better. Our shape and who we are is unique to each one of us. We need to enhance what we have and work on improving our health instead of fighting to be something we are not.
I hope you found this article helpful, perhaps even inspiring and if so please do communicate with me and share your stories or your progress as I’ll n. And if the pics of me in my underwear made you feel ill then I’m sorry, but that’s the reality of what it’s like when we don’t airbrush out our flaws!