Weight A Minute

I have a lot of respect for people who ‘own’ their problems and as a therapist, in order to help people overcome issues in their lives, they have to accept responsibility for them. That does not mean to say that they are to ‘blame’ for these issues, it merely means that they are willing to admit that these issues are affecting their lives.

I work with many people who are overweight and I am more than happy to help people who accept that something they are doing, or not doing, is leading to their weight issues. After all, if people refuse to believe that they are in any way responsible – how can I help them? I can try and tackle the manufacturers of the crap they eat, or the owners of the fast food joints they are addicted to – but seriously, even if I managed to close these guys down, would that really help my client?

I offer free consultations to all perspective clients and I met a woman recently who asked for help with her weight issues. During the consultation it become obvious that she refused to accept responsibility for her being overweight. She failed to see how anything she did or didn’t do resulted in her firstly being overweight and secondly, her inability to shift the excess weight. She had no health related issues that would affect her weight.

Asking about her past it became apparent that she had a lot of unresolved anger surrounding her apparent mistreatment by her parents. Once again, she refused to admit that carrying around anger from her childhood was her choice and hence her responsibility. In fact she was incredibly upset that I was not on her ‘side’ with regards to how she had a right to still feel angry fifty years later.

At the end of the consultation I asked her how I could help her. She stated plainly, ‘by helping me to lose weight.’ I nodded to show I understood. I then asked her how she believed I could help her. She was stumped.

I then went on to explain how I worked with weight loss clients to overcome any emotional attachments they may have to food, as well as poor eating habits and any unresolved issues or misunderstandings from the past that could impact on their eating habits at present. However, as she had clearly (and adamantly) stated during the consultation, that she had no such issues, I was unable to help her at this time.

Needless to say she was less than happy, very angry at the wasted time and off she went, never to be seen by me again!

However, if she had have been open to the fact that something she was doing was causing her issues, like every one of the clients I see, I could have helped her. But how can I help someone who does not want to be helped? How can you help someone if they cannot see their part in the problem, especially when they know there is a problem? You can’t.

Until you appreciate that every issue you have is your issue – regardless of where it came from – you  cannot move on. You cannot resolve any problems until you see that you are responsible for resolving them or dealing with them – no one else. It doesn’t matter how they came about, all that matters is that you realise you have a problem and that it is down to you to do something about it.

I have helped hundreds of people shed their excess weight – and I love seeing how thrilled they are when they get the results they wanted. The best thing is, these clients were totally honest from the start, some embarrassed by their poor eating habits or mortified by their lifestyle choices, but they bit the proverbial bullet and took ownership of their part in their excessive weight and as a result, were rewarded by an amazing and wonderful weight loss experience!

So next time you moan about your weigh,t ask yourself what you can do to help you let go of your excess weight. No one else can lose your weight for you – only you can do that. And you can only lose weight if you are honest with yourself first.

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Will You Find The Weight You Lose?

I remember my dad always telling us when we were kids how English is a precise language. He was referring to what I suppose you could call Freudian Slips – when someone says something that they didn’t mean to say on a conscious level but it is believed to be what they wanted to say on a subconscious level. When someone dies – instantaneously our minds adapt to the past tense when speaking about them and it always amazes me how quickly our mind and language adapt. This has been the downfall of many a murderer on those murder mystery programs – when they unconsciously refer to the missing person in the past tense.

So when we talk about losing weight – what are we actually saying? That we want to lose weight? I am sure you would love to lose weight but do you really want to find it again? No I bet you don’t! So if you are one of the millions of people in the UK who is trying to ‘lose’ weight – surely you are using the wrong terminology? Because your mind is a pretty amazing tool and if it is told to ‘lose’ weight it will do what it is told to do – however it isn’t stupid – it also knows that when you lose things, car keys, money, those new earrings, you want to find them. So no surprise that  when you lose weight you eventually find it again!

So if English is a precise language and your mind understands the English Language  that you use (and the part of the mind that is responsible for your behaviours and habits- the subconscious mind – is literal too – so it will do what you tell it to) – even in your thoughts – then perhaps it’s about time you changed how you talked about your weight loss. The word loss itself has some pretty sad connotations attached to it too as it depicts actual ‘loss’ – loss of a loved one, loss of confidence, loss of love etc.

So if you want to shed that excess weight then use a word that gets your subconscious mind on board with your goal, after all this is the most powerful part of your mind. When we ‘shed’ things – like dead skin (yes it’s not a pleasant example but it works!)  we let go of it once and for all. It is ‘old’ and needs to be released – we don’t expect to get back something we have shed.

When we get rid of something this also suggests we are letting go of something that we no longer want, perhaps something that once served a purpose but no longer does now. ‘I got rid of all my old clothes the other day’, ‘I got rid of him, he was no good for me’.

When you want to lose weight – drop the ‘loss’ or ‘lose’ – and use a far more powerful and meaningful term instead such as ‘getting rid of excess weight’ or ‘shedding weight’.  Get your subconscious mind on board to help you reach your ideal weight – and make sure you set a weekly target for weight loss too – and make it reasonable and do-able. One or two pounds a week is okay (lift up a bag of sugar if you doubt this) and make sure to reward yourself when your reach your goals with something other than food.

So if you want to get rid of your excess weight – then I wish you the best. If you are struggling with your new healthy eating regime then think about purchasing my new Be Slim Hypnosis CD (and yes it does have the word loss on it – however that is a purely marketing choice!!)

Remember your excess weight is something that you want to say goodbye to once and for all so use a term to express this mentality – shed weight or let it go or get rid of it but definitely not lose it!!

 

Is Obesity An Illness?

I read an article in the Daily Mail (‘Labelling obesity a disease is an excuse not to diet’) and it highlighted a very worrying trend. As a Weight Management Consultant I have helped countless people lose and maintain weight loss and the main emphasis of my program is health and responsibility. I help my clients to change habits, behaviours and even what foods they find appealing, yet they are clear on one point – they have been responsible for their weight gain and accordingly, they will also be responsible for their weight loss too.

There are, more often than no,t emotional triggers to overeating and this is one of the first things I tackle with my clients, however, regardless of whether their triggers are conscious or unconscious – they still have a choice. Each and every time you put something in your mouth you have a choice. Each and every time you drive to the shops or school – that is your choice. When you say yes to that third piece of cake – that is your choice – no one else’s.

I have no doubt that if I told my clients that obesity is an illness the results I would obtain would be far from the excellent ones I get now! Labelling obesity as an illness does change the mind-set of most people (not all I hasten to add). It gives obese people a ‘legitimate’ reason as to why they are overweight and gives them a ‘valid’ excuse to do absolutely nothing about tackling their obesity (which this article highlighted).

Basically labelling obesity as an illness is a cop out clause – ‘I’m overweight because I have an illness’, ‘I can’t control what I eat – it’s an illness and there’s nothing I can do about it’, ‘I’d love to be slim but I’m ill’ and so the excuses go on and on.

By labelling obesity as an illness you are taking away the crucial component of any successful weight loss – responsibility. In order to lose weight you have to accept that you and only you are responsible for your excess weight – not McDonalds, not KFC or even your partner for cooking unhealthy meals – you are 100% responsible for your weight – no-one else.

That’s a scary prospect to many obese people as it means that they actually have to do something about their life style in order to lose weight – they have to make some serious choices in order to shift their excess weight and that means two things – they have to reduce calorific intake and increase activity level – there is no other way to lose weight. And whilst change can be scary – it can also be uplifting – imagine being slim and healthy and feeling more and more confident and positive each and every day? That is a choice too!

And if you are prone to sitting all day eating and blaming everyone and the world for your obesity – well that’s an easy alternative to face than some major life style choices, however, is an early death an easy choice to make? Is the prospect of diabetes, liver disease or cancer an easy option to face? What about choosing to be slim, healthy and focusing on enjoying life – that’s a choice too?

Obesity is a life style choice and it has been proved time after time that there really is no biological reason for obesity (the elusive fat gene). The cause of obesity is pure and simple – it’s a compulsion to overeat.

Whilst there may be many reasons why people feel compelled to overeat (and I have felt compelled on many an occasion!) you still need to accept that it is you that is overeating or responding to those cravings! Once you deal with your compulsion, you will find that your eating habits become more healthier naturally and with little effort.

Anyone can overcome emotional eating and I would rather have the hope that I could overcome something than be told that it’s an ‘illness’ and there is nothing I can do about it (to be honest even then I would still do something!) It is your choice whether your remain overweight and face a future of complications due to your obesity (proper illnesses such as diabetes and coronary heart disease) or do something about it now.

Chose a healthier lifestyle – it is your choice – or chose to blame your ‘illness’ – your choice. I know which one I would choose – no matter how daunting that may be.

If you would like more information on how to overcome your emotional eating then visit http://www.mcrhypnotherapy.com or try my new Be Slim Weight Loss Hypnosis CD available on Amazon uk ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mairead%20russell&sprefix=maire%2Caps)

It’s just a thought

Thoughts are amazing aren’t they? They rule our lives without a second thought (pardon the pun) from us.

Thoughts make us who we are. They drive our beliefs, our moods, our choices and even what we have for dinner. So why is that we give so little attention to what is actually going on in our heads? Why do we not question our thoughts more often? Perhaps because we are unaware of the thousands of thoughts we have everyday!

It is estimated that we have around 50,000 thoughts per day and that 70 – 80% of those are negative (Wow, no wonder we feel so bad most of the time!) So as you can see it’s virtually impossible to keep on top of every thought we have however we can begin to notice those repetitive negative thoughts that lie behind limiting habits, behaviours and feelings.

Awareness is key to change, so it’s important to become more aware of your thoughts. So choose one area in your life that you would like to change say weight loss for example or anxiety. So when you notice those cravings or the need to overeat, ask yourself ‘what am I thinking right now?’ and focus on your thoughts. You shouldn’t be surprised that they will be based on either food, feeling better or the desire to do what you want (eat excessively).

Make a note to be aware of your thoughts surrounding your cravings etc for a couple of days. Each time you have the urge to overeat – ask yourself ‘what am I thinking right now’ and make a note of any thoughts on your mind. This will give you an insight as to what drives your cravings and motivates you to overeat. Perhaps you may notice that you feeling sad or lonely, maybe it’s a voice telling you how much you like chocolate or it may even be a thought telling you that you have a right to eat what you like, but listen to these thoughts and write them down.

As you become more aware of what drives your overeating you are better able to successfully tackle the issue. Also REMEMBER a thought is just that. It’s a thought. It has no impact on you what so ever – only if you let it – so realise firstly that these thoughts are just habitual thought patterns that you are ‘used to’ and which you respond to without question.

When you are aware of your thought patterns – question them!  Yes chocolate tastes nice but surely nothing tastes as good as thin feels? You have every right to eat what you want but you choose to be healthy and slim instead don’t you?. Once you are aware of these thoughts it’s easier to question their validity and then change the negative thoughts to more positive and motivating ones instead and you can do this by using something known as a Pattern Interrupt.  A pattern interrupt is an NLP technique which  is incredibly simple yet can blow apart those negative thought patterns easily and quickly and replace them with ones that are more beneficial for you.

Basically you stop the negative thoughts as soon as you become aware of them by saying STOP in your head (or CANCEL) and then you immediately introduce a positive more motivating thought pattern instead (click here to watch a video on how to carry out this pattern interrupt). I use this technique all the time which is great however the most powerful change for me is that I now realize that a thought is just that – it’s a thought and as such I can listen to it, ignore it or change it. It holds no power over me. How incredibly liberating!

If you have OCD and upsetting negative thoughts then it’s worthwhile to remember that your thoughts are just thoughts. They only control you if you let them so if you want to take back control of your OCD then STOP those thought patterns by using the pattern interrupt. OCD is repetitive negative thoughts so this Stop! Pattern is an excellent way for you to take back control of your thoughts, your life and your emotions too. So give it a go and if you need any further help then give me a ring today on 07532 110457.

Try this Stop! Pattern out – but remember – a thought is just a thought………..

 

 

 

Anxiety and Aspergers….helping your child

I have recently become involved with a group locally who have formed a support group for parents with kids who have Aspergers or Autism and it it’s refreshing to know that I am not alone out there, struggling to cope with the needs of a ‘special’ child.

It became apparent during our meeting that one thing many parents were worried about, as well as many other issues,  was their kids anxiety levels. I could certainly relate to this as my son can get anxious about any changes in his routine and depending on the circumstances his anxiety can be that severe that he loses feeling in his body and feels ‘weird’ as he would say.  Not only does anxiety impair already tenuous social interaction and performance in kids with Aspergers and Autism but if left unchecked  can and has lead to depression too.

However there is a simple, yet extremely powerful and proven technique that these kids can learn (or parents) to help them relieve their anxiety about a specific event, memory or just the anxiety they are feeling at the moment and it’s such a lovely and comforting tool too!

This technique is know as the ‘Butterfly Hug’ and is based on EMDR which is a powerful tool recognised by the Medical profession for it’s ability to resolve trauma and anxiety and was developed by Francine Shapiro.  It’s based on something known as bi-lateral stimulation which simply means you stimulate either side of your body simultaneously. You can, for example tap each thigh, right, left, right, left etc or you can move your eyes, whilst keeping your head still, from right to left several times too.

I’m not going to go into the how this technique works however, what I will tell you is that this works! I use this technique in my practice with amazing results and for children it is such a lovely soothing technique to use!

You can teach this technique to your child in order that they can learn to self soothe or you can do this for them by taping alternative shoulders/tops of arms for them. However if your kid needs to release his anxiety at school say, they could tap on alternative  thighs as this is more discreet.

The Technique:

1. To do the butterfly hug, cross your arms across your chest, as if you were holding yourself, with your right hand resting on your left upper arm and your left hand on your right upper arm.

2. Then, as you experience whatever anxiety or fear you may have, tap alternately – left, right, left, right – at whatever speed you find comfortable (usually two taps each second). The important thing is that you alternate the taps – one side, then the other.

3. After tapping for a while, stop, take a breath, and notice how you’re feeling. You may be surprised to discover that you’re feeling somewhat calmer.

4. Continue to tap until your anxiety diminishes or reduces.

5. If your level of anxiety or fear doesn’t change at all, give yourself some more time with the butterfly hug and see what happens.

6. You can do the butterfly hug for as much or little time as you find comfortable, and as many times a day as you feel a need to settle yourself.

Such a simple technique but incredibly powerful and a simple way to help you child take control of their own anxiety. And as a result the will notice their general level of anxiety will fall as a result!

So happy tapping and if you need any further advice on how to help your child with anxiety give me a ring on 07532 110457 or drop me a line at mairead@mcrhypnotherapy.com

For further information on the Trafford Aspergers support group visit traffordaspergers@yahoo.co.uk.

Or read the article below.

http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/news/whereyoulive/urmston/10282020.New_support_group_for_young_people_with_Asperger_s_syndrome/

How Much Is Too Much?

Watching ‘Supersize vs Superskinny’ recently I was amazed at how peoples’ perceptions of what they thought was a ‘healthy’ amount of food differed and I wondered if it was really a lack of knowledge or was it denial that their eating habits were so poor?

Ideally we should be eating three meals a day with a couple of light snacks in between if hungry. We should aim to eat every 2 -3 hours or when we are hungry. However those that fail to eat for most of the day need to over-ride their lack of hunger signal and eat at 3 hour intervals to ensure that they adopt a more realistic and healthy eating pattern, likewise so should those who overeat. Over-eaters need to forget to listen to their hunger pangs and eat every 3 hours too and decrease portion size too!

So what constitutes an ideal portion for meals? Well if you consider that your stomach is roughly the size of your fist (go on have a look at your fist now – it’s not that big really is it?) then this will give you an idea of roughly how much food you should eat at every meal. So a packet of sweets isn’t enough (not to mention the sugar content and lack of nutrition!!) and a plate overflowing with roast potatoes, meat and veg followed by apple pie and custard is certainly way too much.

Eating too less or too much ‘trains’ our brain to accept this eating pattern and we therefore get into a habit of eating poorly however just as you once  learnt this poor eating behaviour you can just as easily unlearn it and create a healthier approach to eating. Perseverance is key and by focusing on the end result (a thinner you or a healthier you) you will ultimately feel more motivated.

Unfortunately we are over-faced with large portions everywhere we go so we tend to ‘see’ large portions as ‘normal’ when in fact they are far from it!  McDonald’s small fries were once sold as large fries! Can you image that? Blame the Americans if you like but it’s you that’s ultimately responsible for what you eat and the amount.

If you do overeat a simple trick to help you cut down on portions size is to reduce the size of our plate. Simple but incredibly effective and this is one of the first things I advise all my weight loss clients to do. Not only are you getting a more realistic idea of the amount of food you should be eating (less) but you are also tricking your mind into believing that you are eating the same amount of food as you used to, so you will still feel full! (trust me this really does work!)

Why does this simple idea work? Well your mind is very visual and responds to the images it sees and if it’s used to seeing a plate full of food it will automatically expect a plate full of food at meal times. So if you reduce your portion size and keep the same plate size, it will look less on the plate and your mind will interpret this as ‘not enough’ food, as the plate isn’t full. like it usually is, so you may well still feel hungry after.

However if you swap your plate to a medium sized one, the smaller portion will look more on a smaller plate than a larger one (plate looks full) so your mind still  ‘sees’ that the plate is full of food and as before, will expect you to be full at the end of it too!

So next time you hear yourself making excuses for the size of your portions take a quick look at your fist and take a reality check. And change those plates!

The Power Of Belief

When I talk about belief I am not necessarily talking about religious beliefs although they are linked into belief systems too, however I am talking specifically about personal beliefs. Those beliefs that we hold steady about ourselves, sometimes without even being aware that we have them let alone the impact they have on our everyday life!

We all hold beliefs about ourselves and the world. Some believe that the world is a scary place or that they are great singers (even if that is far from the truth – I am sure some of you watch The X Factor!).

Beliefs are statements that we believe to be true about us and the world and we accept them without question. Major beliefs will affect every area of our lives and if you have limiting or negative beliefs about yourself, the impact will be negative.

Imagine if you believed that you were good enough, you would probably achieve so much more than someone who thought they were useless. If you were good enough  you would go for that promotion, chat that great looking guy up or take on that exciting new project because you believe that you can do it.

On the other hand imagine if you felt you were useless. Well there’s no point going for that interview because you know you won’t get it so why bother even trying and as for that great looking guy, he is way out of your league! What you believe about yourself WILL impact on how you perform on a daily basis.

So if you would rather believe that you were good enough as opposed to useless then get working on changing your limiting beliefs and believe you me (pardon the pun!) it’s easier than you think! All you  need is a little time and commitment.

(For more impact do this exercise on paper!)

1. Firstly ask yourself in what ways is this limiting belief wrong? Are you really not good enough 100% of the time?

2. Then ask yourself in what way this belief is negatively impacting on your life – cover every area of your life from personal to work to financial to relationships etc. Write these down and list as many as you can.

3. Next ask how much better would your life be if you didn’t believe this belief? List all the positive ways you life would improve. Also think of a new empowering belief that you would like instead of the old one. This must be stated in the positive i.e. ‘I am good enough’ and NOT ‘I no longer believe that I am not good enough’.

4. Once complete, focus on all the pain and suffering this old belief is causing in your life and really get a sense of how it’s impacting on how you feel, how you behave and how it affects your life. Really feel the pain that this belief is causing you. Spend about 15-20 seconds doing this.

5. Then think about your future without this belief. Think about how you will feel when you don’t believe this belief anymore and when you believe the new empowering belief that ‘I am good enough’. Notice how you will feel, look, talk, behave and really get a strong feeling of how great you feel and focus on the pleasure you feel believing this new belief. This is your daydream so make is as compelling as you could possibly ever make it! Imagine how fantastic it will be believing that you are good enough. See how your life will improve, how differently you behave. Spend as long as you like doing this but do it for at least one minute.

6.  Also continually re-affirm that you are good enough throughout the day by using positive affirmation.  Do this atleast 10 times each morning and evening and when ever you can remember during the day. The more you do the quicker the result!

7. Do this exercise daily for a month (this is the commitment!) and you will be amazed at how much better you feel!

Why does this exercise work? Well your unconscious mind is the seat of your behaviours, habits and beliefs and over time it has accepted, rightly or wrongly many beliefs about you, so bearing this in mind, it can accept a new belief too.

Secondly your unconscious mind works on the principle of more pleasure less pain so it will automatically take you from a painful situation to a pleasurable one instead (however you need to tell it what you want instead!!). It’s role is to bring as much pleasure into your life so by focusing on the new empowering belief and really FEELING how great it would be to believe that you are good enough, it receives a very clear instruction to change your belief system to one which is more positive and supportive to you now.

Thirdly, your unconscious mind is literal and accepts what you tell it. Unfortunately you will previously have been telling yourself that you aren’t good enough so your mind has responded accordingly! So now you need to tell yourself what you want to be or achieve – so focus on this new belief and anytime you think about the old belief, stop and change it to ‘I am good enough’. After time your unconscious mind willaccept this new belief as fact, no questions asked!!!

So this leads us to the fourth point. Repetition. Our mind learns through repetition so seeing yourself as good enough, feeling good enough and telling yourself you are good enough over and over again, will reinforce this new belief at the unconscious level of your mind where it will be accepted and acted upon. So repeat, repeat, repeat!!

It usually takes between 21-30 days to create a new habit or belief consciously however hypnosis can shorten that time dramatically as it communicates directly with your unconscious mind. So if you struggle changing habits and behaviours or lack the commitment to do this then what not see a hypnotherapist who can help you change your life!

Remember what you focus on in life you will get so focus on what you want. Your mind responds to the images and thoughts you create so make sure they are the ones you want, in order to create the life of your dreams!

Good Luck!