january

I’m writing this on 16 January, 2020, so I guess it goes without saying. But life in January does seem to follow some specific themes. Although there are positives, many of these are quite disheartening.

I think if I asked most people in the UK if this is their favourite time of year, not many would punch the air and say yes.

One or two might punch me instead.

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Weight-loss at Christmas is something of a nightmare. Someone told me the other day that in order to burn off the calories gained by eating just one mince pie you would have to complete about 25 minutes of Burpees.
Now, if you have ever tried to do a burpee you will know that this is not something you want to spend time on over Christmas.
The thing about a calorie control diet is that it focusses on just that one thing – calories. Our thinking around calories tends to be:

calories in = bad; calories burned = good

If you’re a fan, as I am – the fact that a mince pie is a gorgeous hit of spicy fruity sweetness and we are saying ‘hello’ to a potentially lovely time of year when we have our first one, doesn’t enter into the equation.
In our minds it probably looks more like this:Read more »

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There can be many ways in which we can be uncomfortable about our bodies. The most common, perhaps, is when we become aware that we are not that particular size, or weight that we ‘should’ be.

That ‘should be’ can come from lots of sources. It may be a standard we believe is set by our society, our friends, the media. It could be a measure our parents have handed down to us, unintentionally or intentionally, by trying to manage our food intake – ‘don’t eat too many cakes or you’ll get fat’.

You may be someone who has experienced those patterns of putting on the pounds and then intensively dieting and exercising to lose them again, only to find that a few months later you are back where you started or worse! Alternatively you may have just always been ‘big’ in comparison to others and feel that there is nothing you can do about it.

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Ghost of Christmas PastI know, I know – you’ve probably seen a dozen New Year blogs, New Year products and other activities based around the idea that now is the time to change yourself.

Thing is, it is true. Now is not the only time when you can take hold of your life and really get to grips with the changes, but in many ways it is the best time. Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a delightful tale that can be seen as one man’s epiphany through the lessons of the three ghosts. It’s a bit of a stretch but I’ve used these three ghosts to show why, even though it is a cliche, this is certainly the best time to make those big changes in your life.

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A positive meme

Mean memes seem to be the thing of the moment as I write this blog. The disgusting practice of posting pictures of supposedly unattractive people on social media and encouraging ‘tagging’ others as some sort of joke or insult, has thankfully come under fire.

Stories of people such as Lizzie Velasquez, a motivational speaker and author, with a rare congenital disease that prevents her from accumulating body fat, have been covered in the Metro and other papers, have helped to shame some of these bullies. It may be that the practice will decline, or, such is the perversity of our society, it may increase them.

One of the things that strikes me about some of the pictures that I have seen used for this purpose, is that many of those depicted are actually looking pretty happy!  The people who postRead more »

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Girl craving alcohol and smoking a cigarette
FreeImages.com/Katherine Evans

In this month when so many people are aiming to become smoke-free, you may well have moments of weakness. While not everyone has cravings, they are a factor to be considered whenever you are ending a habit. So the things I write here can also apply to things like binge eating, compulsive habits and any inappropriate behaviour.

The great thing about this is that it is ONLY applicable if you have already had an experience where you gave in to temptation previously!

So if you have lapsed, it’s a good thing.

Here is the process. I suggest you read through it a few times before you do it.Read more »

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questions-1151886-640x480 stock exchange freeWhen you first enter my office in Haywards Heath I always ask you two important questions.

Whether you are seeing me for a free appointment, or an intensive one-day breakthrough session, or even if you have begun a series of regular sessions, the first is:

‘Why are you here?’.

It’s not a surprising question in itself, and probably likely to glean more useful information to me as a therapist and coach than ‘What’s your shoe size?’

Usually, though not always, my client will tell me Read more »

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At the time I picked up ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ I had not particularly heard of Tony Robbins. I certainly wasn’t aware of his huge status as a ‘guru’, speaking to thousands at a time, changing lives on the fly and being a coach to some of the most famous people in the world such as Jimmy Carter and Oprah Winfrey.

The great thing about that is that the book serves as a bit of an autobiography as it recounts in quite a personal way how the changes that Tony made through NLP techniques created the life that he now has. Tony Robbins is the classic case of someone going from homeless person to multi-millionaire.  I urge you to catch some of his videos online – maybe his Ted Talk or some of his stuff on ‘Strategic Intervention‘.Read more »

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Woman sleeping naturally

One of the most common side effects I come across when I deal with clients, whether over the phone, or face-to-face, is that many of them are really struggling to get a deep natural sleep every night.

I completely get it, because I used to have that problem myself.

You know how it feels when you Read more »

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discarded cigaretteWe all know that there are a plethora of solutions and approaches to smoking cessation – from smoke aversion to nicotine replacement, from hypnosis to acupuncture.  Naturally the scientific world, Government health organisations and charities are very keen to study the various approaches and pin down exactly which ones are the most effective.

There are a host of studies, and the outcomes vary slightly from one to another. Hypnosis, which is my favoured approach, (although I combine it with cognitive behavioural therapy and neurolinguistic programming) comes out quite well overall, usually significantly higher than nicotine replacement for example.

But I have to admit that there is something that consistently out-performs all the other techniques!
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