It’s that dreaded time of year again… 

We’ve overindulged, our clothes feel tight and we berate ourselves again for piling on weight so quickly over the festive season and promise to make this year, the year to achieve that bikini body and so the months of Yo-Yo dieting begins.

Countless studies tell us that 95% of diets fail and that only a small percentage of people manage to achieve and maintain permanent weight loss over 3 years plus. Most people will lose weight in the short term and sadly within two years or less gain the same if not more weight back on.

You see this with celebrities, I won’t name names, even with a big bank account, access to the best chefs, the best nutritionists, the best trainers, being in the public eye, they still struggle with achieving and maintaining their ideal weight for good. 

And so I too, like every single person on the planet, also fell victim to that same thinking, that I needed to go on a diet to lose weight.

I spent more and more money over time in my 30’s on various different diets, in the hope of having that perfect body, then blaming myself for not having the willpower and discipline to stick to the plan.

Most of us know what to do, know what to eat, but we just can’t stick to it in the long term, those cravings, temptations, overeating just kicks in because your mind is not controlled by logic, it’s controlled by your emotion.

In 2015 I thought I found the holy grail of programmes to achieving the body I wanted, again I won’t name names. This programme combined meticulously planned meals and daily exercise, with peer group accountability all together for 90 days. Sounds Amazing! It was a brilliant well put together 3-month programme, with the understanding that within that time frame I’d also have created healthy new habits for life. 30 days to a create a new habit right?

Did that work? Heck No! 

I stuck mostly to it for the entire programme, my group supported, cheered me on and posted their encouragement. By Week 11, I even got close to a possible appearing 2 pack. Wow I nearly did it!  I felt so proud of myself, but the minute the programme was over things started to slide and I’ve sadly not seen that 2 pack since.

In all honesty, the programme was good in what it offered. It was an education to healthy eating, and a glimpse to the amount of work, effort, commitment, and advanced food prepping involved to achieving that promising dream bikini body. 

Maybe your environment is to blame? Keep your cupboards bare and tell all your friends whenever you visit to hide everything but the fruits and vegetables! 

Truth is it’s all just treating the symptom and not the underlying cause.

In the last few years, I’ve realised that dieting and exercise alone just doesn’t work for permanent, sustainable weight loss and companies, of course, know this and maybe deep down we know this too. We accept and expect that in a few months we will likely be back to square one, but we still try.

The programme I went on, promises to give you that life long permanent physique and fitness by selling you life long membership so you can go back on the programme, time and time again.

But is that really the best and only answer? To have to keep repeating the programme, every 6 months, every year. Is that really success? Or is that just more profit? 

If you paid someone to fix your car, would you expect to go back and again and again for the same reason?

I believe I have a much better answer and the key is ‘Mindset’, let’s stop treating the symptom, and get to the cause.

Understanding and working on your ‘Mindset’, has to be the very first step you need to take to achieving the ideal weight for life, before changing your diet, before you hit the gym.

By understanding your current eating patterns, behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about food, and re-educating your subconscious thoughts and beliefs tied to your behaviors that is the breakthrough you need for sustainable, permanent change, everything else is just a temporary solution to the symptom.

The way we eat is very much associated with emotions and memories. If we had no emotions or memories about food we wouldn’t head for the comforting, delicious, tasty junk food that reminds us of our happy, carefree, childhood days when we are sad or loose the appetite to eat when someone ditches us.

We just have to spend a mere second imagining or seeing the pastry, cakes, ice cream in the shop window and already our mouth starts to salivate with the images, pictures, feelings, experiences and associations we hold in our mind.

All those incredibly powerful emotions and memories are stored in our unconscious or subconscious mind, and it is this that we need to understand, unravel and re-educate first.

There’s a reason for everything and by understanding your eating habits, the absolute root cause this will give you the Aha moment to stop blaming yourself, your lack of willpower, discipline and determination and achieve your goal with much more ease and kindness to yourself.

I’m an advocate of the use of hypnotherapy to help me get there, yes it’s what I do, and I experimented on myself with my love of cakes, pastries, and bread. In one hypnotherapy session, I unraveled the beliefs, the root cause of my feelings and memories I had about food, and understood why I struggled and felt a need to indulge every time I was at the cake store,

Like a computer I installed in my subconscious mind, a new programme with the belief that these cakes, pastries, take me away from my goal, they are always in abundance, they will be here again tomorrow, and today I don’t need it, I CHOOSE not to eat it.

Sounds simple but it has worked for me. 

I am no longer fighting with my willpower, or discipline of my conscious mind and I can freely walk down the bakery section and no longer feel that emotional pull of needing and wanting something.

Having understood the root cause, I am no longer feeding my emotions. I can calmly tell myself, those beautifully looking puffy croissants I see can remain on the shelf and I know they will be there again tomorrow, and quite contently walk away.

The 3 steps to achieving your ideal weight:

  1. Unraveling and understanding your Mindset on food.
  2. Adopting a healthy eating plan, slowly ramping up each week.
  3. Finally, getting in some daily exercise.

Food is medicine, it’s there to provide us with nourishment, vitamins and minerals and energy, and not to feed our emotions, desires, habits, and boredom. It’s a process that takes time, be kind to yourself in the interim.

Agree or disagree, please comment and let me know!