The Descent

RilkeBeing stuck in the diet trap can sometimes feel like drowning . We  gasp for air ; we reach for something (anything) to hold on to ; we flail about trying to reach the safety of the surface. We are desperate to escape the perils of the water and yet , in our drive to survive, we fail to acknowledge what is pulling us down into the depths.

The surface seems so tantalisingly close. Within our grasp. We can see the light of the sun penetrating the water above us. We can see the hulls of boats. We can see the legs of other swimmers . We sense the possibility of rescue at arm’s length.

And even though something from the depths is hauling us downwards : we struggle against it. We refuse to acknowledge its pull or what it means for our survival. We put all our energy into attempting to get to the surface and to get out. Afterall, the surface looks so close. So tempting. Rescue looks so certain.

We flail. We grasp. We reach out. And, exhausted, we sink.

Until we free ourselves from what is dragging us into the depths, the surface will always be beyond our reach. It is the descent that will free us.

The latest fad diet;  fat-loss pills and potions;  shakes and vitamins ;  celebrity miracle body-sculpting regimes;  “lose- weight- while- you- sleep” audio programmes : these are all on the surface. Promises of rescue. So close. And yet, if we swim in this direction, we will never escape because the pull downwards is still there and will always be stronger.

Our real chance of escape lies in our courage to dive into the depths, to discover what is pulling us down and then to free ourselves  so we may swim in any direction we choose. In order to free ourselves from the diet trap, we must be prepared to descend into the very guts of who we are. We must be prepared to face the stories, emotions, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes which shackle us. We must be prepared to work skillfully with what we find and, above all, we must respect what the depths of the our vast oceans hold.

Divers are often fearful of what they may find in the dark recesses where the light of the sun never penetrates. And yet, when the divers shine their torches, the most beautiful, raw aspects of nature may reveal themselves. Wondrous, wild and untamed ~  our deepest nature reveals its secrets when we are prepared to dive.

You want the “real secret” to weight loss that the advertisers harp on about? You’ll never find it outside, on or above the surface. The secret is inside you. And all you have to do is go diving for it! (Oh – and I should give you a bit of a warning ~ it’s not just the secret to weight loss that you’ll find in your depths 🙂 )

“It is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret”~ Rilke

© Jane Talbot 2013

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Look In The Mirror And Meet Your Team!

Team Huskies

Recently I saw one of those “motivational” pictures doing the rounds on Facebook. It was aimed primarily at people wanting to improve their sports performance but I think the sentiment behind it was meant to be universally applicable in the field of human “achievement”.

It went something along the lines of  “look in the mirror and meet your competition” . What I took from those words was :  if I want to improve (or achieve anything in life) then the best way to do this is to compete against myself.

10 years ago, as a hard–core perfectionist, this would have really appealed to me. I’d actually think it was quite healthy too ~ the ability to drive myself to higher and higher standards, knowing that I had a worthy adversary in myself.

I hold a very different view now because that way of thinking  created separation within me ~ I was setting up inner conflict. If one part of me wins, then the other part loses. In this paradigm, I am in struggle against the very fibre of my own being ~ and in creating this internal separation, I create external separation. I begin to believe that success is predicated on competition : on being better than (or worse than) , on winning (or losing) , on succeeding (or failing). It’s me against the world (and just for the record, that pattern takes a huge amount of energy to sustain).

Somehow the psychological maths didn’t add up. Surely, if I want to achieve anything, it’s best to have access to ALL my resources rather than some of them? Surely it’s better to have all of me heading in the same direction, rather than part of me? And which part of me am I competing against anyway? Why would I want to compete with myself at all? Would I really want a part of me to lose?

So I changed my mind about the whole success thing. I decided that I wouldn’t compete with myself, I would collaborate with myself instead. I would welcome everything I had onto the team ~ even the most unlikely candidates! Of course, I’d welcome the likes of passion, focus and endurance on board. And also I’d welcome those who were usually left sitting on the bench ~  frustration, anger, shame, hurt and the rest of those “bad boys”. It’s a bit of a raggle~taggle squad, I’ll give you that 🙂 .

I’ll tell you something straight : there is an incredible amount of energy available to you when you’re not resisting who you really are. There is an incredible amount of energy available to you when you welcome your whole self onto the team (and I’m of the team management philosophy which believes that if a team member turns up to the practice field, he gets to play ~ no matter how skilled he is… because eventually, he learns how to be part of the wider team and he’ll find his natural place in the squad). I don’t just want a few good individual players – I’m looking to build a squad which can work well together , a squad which can respect all team members and their roles. I want a team that really wants to play for me – I want ALL of me on my side.

 When I go  training now, I no longer compete against myself. I collaborate with myself. And if you were to ask my which side I’m on, I would answer : I’m on all my sides!

Look in the mirror and meet your team. (And yes, my sports performance is improving 🙂 #WinWin )

© Jane Talbot 2013

Feed Your Demon!

Feed your demonsIn more than 13 years of working with people who want to lose weight, I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t identify with the term “demon” when referring to their appetite. Many people go as far as to describe themselves as being “possessed” when their appetite howls for food. They describe their appetite as if it were a roar direct from the bowels of hell.

I’ve learned alot in 13 years ~ and I’ve learned alot from my own demon too. In fact, I’ve learned so much that I’m thinking of setting up a “demon sanctuary” 😛

What I’ve realised is that the so-called demon is expressing a really important unmet need – its howl is loaded with powerful information for us . We may hear it – and misinterpret its message as physiological hunger. Or we may hear it and be frightened of its call – and feed it into silence.

The demon is expressing a deeper hunger ~ a deeper spiritual craving, a raw existential desire, an appetite for connection. And if we could take a moment to actually listen to its call, if we could meet its need in a respectful way, if we could feed our demon what it really needs to the point of satiety, if we could bring our demon in from the cold and cherish it, offer it welcoming refuge … can you guess what might happen?

Well , I’ll tell you ~ it won’t be a demon any more. It will be your most powerful supporter in your journey towards health. It turns out that your demon is an angel in disguise.

Feed your demon. Love your demon. Give your demon a home. Because it isn’t a demon at all ~ it’s the call of your deepest wisdom. Listen to it.

If you want freedom ~  feed your demon!

© Jane Talbot 2013

Be The Terminator!

Are you ready to celebrate how far you've already come?

Are you ready to celebrate how far you’ve already come?

Today’s post is all about exploring the process of change and celebrating how far you’ve already come :).

You may not have found it easy to change your eating or exercise habits  in the past. You may not have found it easy to love and appreciate your body.You may have been on or off diets several times in your life. You may even have bought all the kit to exercise, gone to one class and then not continued. You may not even believe it’s  possible for you to change completely and have the body you want with a healthy lifestyle to go with it. If any of this rings true for you, here’s the good news : in terms of your moving towards a healthy relationship with food and your body, you may be much further along the road of change than you think!

Where Are You In The Process Of Change? Prochaska and Di Clemente (1983) describe a model of change comprising 7 key phases :

  1. Pre-Contemplation.
  2. Contemplation.
  3. Preparation.
  4. Action.
  5. Maintenance.
  6. Relapse.
  7. Termination

Pre-Contemplation In this phase, people are not seriously considering the possibility of change. An example of a person in this stage could be someone who is overweight but does not have any real desire to lose weight, eat healthily, get fit, process their emotions in a healthy way or tackle their inner “Cookie Monster” (actually mine was a Pringles Monster but that’s another story!). You might hear someone in this phase say “So, I’m overweight. That’s just the way I am and I’m kinda used to it. There’s more to life than exercise and mung beans.”

Contemplation During this phase, people become aware , or acknowledge the existence, of a problem. They are seriously considering the possibility of change but need to weigh up whether to take any action or not. In terms of weight loss, many people remain in this stage of contemplation for years! (Sound familiar?!) You might hear someone in this phase saying something like “I know I need to do something but I just don’t know where to start. I’m not sure whether I have the time or whether I’ve left it too late. I’m not sure about paying for a gym membership but I do know that if I don’t do something now, it could have consequences for my life in the future. Can I really change what I eat? Do I really want to eat differently? Is this change really important for me? Is it important enough? Why do I really need to change my relationship with food and my body? Can I go on like this for much longer? What will happen if I don’t change?”

Are you preparing for a change?

Are you preparing for a change?

Preparation As soon as you get to the Preparation phase, things start to look good! Procheska and Di Clemente suggest that if you find yourself at this stage, it’s very likely that you will make a change within the next 3 months. During this key phase, you might find yourself collecting information about what is required to start the change process. You might be Googling about the best way to lose weight, you might be finding out about the cost of membership at a local gym, you might be on Amazon checking out all the diet books, you may be asking about local therapists and weight loss coaches. If you’ve asked for more information about my live Thigh High Boot Camp events or my coaching packages, then you are already at this stage in the change process! (Even reading this blog means that it’s likely that you’re at this stage :))

Action This is the stage when people actually start to make changes. If you have signed up to my upcoming weight loss boot camps or to my coaching programme, then you are at this advanced stage already! If you’ve joined a gym and booked your induction, you’ve arrived at this stage. If you’ve started to read about an approach to weight loss which may work for you – and you’re implementing the recommendations –Woo-Hoo! Go you, Action Adventurer! If you’ve started attending a local weight loss support group, full-on Action Alerts all around!

So you can congratulate yourself already for getting this far – did you realise how far you had already come? As you engage fully with the process of taking action -and start to make sustainable psychological, emotional, spiritual, dietary, exercise and life-style changes- you will move further into this stage.

Maintenance This Maintenance phase is all about your sustaining the progress made during the action phase. For you, this stage might represent the period directly after completing one of my weight loss events or coaching programmes. It could be the stage when the novelty of going to an exercise class or a weight loss support group has worn off and it’s beginning to feel like a regular part of life. It might be the phase where the eating approach you have selected is definitely getting you results and all you need to do is just keep following the approach.

Some people will stay at this stage for a matter of weeks – others for a considerable period of time. During this stage you may not be totally confident about your ability to avoid relapsing into old habits. After the initial “success highs” have worn off, you may become increasingly aware of old unhelpful patterns which may require resolution. This is all good news : it means you are gaining more insight into who you are and how you work. It’s all part of the process of learning to “stay on track naturally” in a way which works for you

Relapse This is the stage when people are not able to keep and maintain new psychological, behavioural and emotional patterns or don’t stick to their plan of action. This can happen for any number of reasons – but if relapses occur, there is still hope! Just because you don’t “stay on the wagon” (and it really is worth challenging what this phrase actually means!) doesn’t mean you can’t get back on! Actually, it might hearten you to know that it is recognised that relapses are vital to any successful change process. Although it is helpful to avoid relapsing into old behaviours, it should be emphasised that you can learn a great deal about how to change your behaviour (on a permanent basis) from your relapses. (It was only when I relapsed that I learned that the emotion driving my eating behaviour was anxiety. That was a really useful insight for me and helped me to shift my focus to resolving my own anxiety so that my hunger was driven by genuine physiological appetite rather than an emotion).

If you become aware of your “triggers” for relapse, you have a much better chance of resolving the trigger-response relationship once and for all!

Be the Terminator!

Be the Terminator!

Termination (doesn’t sound great but it’s the best bit!) At this stage the old psychological, emotional or behavioural response is gone for good – it is the stage we all dream of! When you reach this stage,  your new psychological, emotional ad behavioural responses will happen automatically, unconsciously and naturally. (Termination sounds pretty cool, right?)

Something For You To Chew Over! Even though you might be busy “being good” right now and avoiding popping to the local “Take-Away” restaurant, here’s a healthy “Take Away” for you. Wherever you’re at in this process, you’re in it! Whether you know it consciously or not, you’re on the road to change 🙂  Congratulations!

Useful Resources If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to learn more about my take on “staying on track” and “relapse”(I call this phase “wiggling”), please check out my 12 Days of Christmas series of posts. These 2 posts will be of particular interest :

https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/

https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2013/01/02/act-in-a-response-able-way/

You can also find out more about my live weight loss boot camps (in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England) and my 1-1 and group coaching programmes here http://www.thighhighbootcamp.com

I’ll be back – and, until then, gotta run 🙂 !

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Terrier-ist Brokers Peace Deal!

So – back to my Jack Russell Terrier, Sparky 🙂  (Did I mention how much I love my dog?) As I said in my last post, I’m pretty green when it comes to dog ownership and I’m learning new stuff everyday. I’m learning stuff that’s not just about dogs either. I’m learning more and more about me (and my relationship with myself) as a result of building a relationship with him.

I'm a terrier-ist : I'm loaded with love and I know how to use it!

I’m a terrier-ist : I’m loaded with love and I know how to use it!

Before picking Sparky up from the rescue kennels, I did quite a bit of research about JRTs and how to handle them. The first thing I learned was that this breed is a working dog and is really good at sniffing things out and then “dealing” with them (if you know what I mean :)). It is for this very reason that JRTs rarely spend time off their leads outdoors because, if they catch a scent, their whole focus is to get to the end of that trail and then “deal” with whatever they find. No amount of calling or treat-offering will deter them. They are .. um .. like a terrier 🙂   They will not rest until the job is done.

3 months into my relationship with Sparky (did I mention that he’s also very handsome? :)), I realise that he is good at sniffing out all sorts of things – and very skilful at dealing with what he finds at the end of the trail.

What I am learning is that my dog can “smell” an emotion a mile off. If any one of us is not feeling so great, Sparky jumps up for a cuddle and stays until the emotion subsides. It’s incredible how he does it! He seems to use his presence to heal : he exudes love!

As I observed consistent patterns in his behaviour as he constantly monitored the family’s emotions (and attended to them where necessary), I thought I had just about got the hang of his “top skill”. I thought he had shown me his best cards.

No. The best cards so far were laid on the table about a month ago. My partner and I were having a row behind closed doors early in the morning. Not a regular row, of course : it was one of those advanced Clint-Eastward-in-a-poncho versus Lee-Van-Cleef-with-a-steely-glint-in-the-eye rows. A deafeningly silent tumbleweed row. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly music playing in our heads. Hands on holsters. Roll-ups hanging from the corner of our mouths.

That morning there was little time for a shoot-out as there was work to be done and Sparky needed his walk too. Sparky knows the routine by now and as soon as the bedroom door is opened, he wags his tail and turns in circles because he knows he is getting to go for a walk.

But not on this morning. As I stood all wrapped up and ready to go, Sparky refused to get out of his basket. I lifted him out and he climbed straight back in. He was going nowhere.

Sometumes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!

Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!

My partner then emerged, dressed and ready to go out to sort his van out for a day at the farm. As my partner approached the front door, I deciphered the thought bubble above Sparky’s head as he leapt in front of the door to prevent my partner from leaving. “You ain’t going NOWHERE. Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” He definitely had that whole John Wayne thing going on 🙂

Sparky herded us both into the front room and sat between us. First looking at one and then the other. Head on one lap and then the other, until we started to speak (at which point, Sparky left the room to let us get on with making peace.)

All of this taught me that Sparky is not only able to sniff out emotions, he is also present to them (no matter how uncomfortable those feelings may be) and knows how to “deal with”, or attend to, them (he lends his love and he encourages healing for individual members of the family and for relationships within the family).

So,here’s your food for thought. If you want to resolve your emotional relationship with food, if you want to stop swallowing your emotions and start processing them in a healthy way, I wonder if you could consider the following questions within the context of your relationship with your body and with food?

When you experience hunger, are you able to “sniff out” the difference between an emotional signal and a genuine physiological hunger signal? How prepared are you to follow the scent to find what’s really at the end of the trail? As you consider following the “trail”, which (if any) emotions come up? How ready are you to be present to the emotions and associated structures (such as unhelpful beliefs, attitudes, values and identity “labels”) you may discover? How prepared are you to “deal with” what you might find at the end of the trail? How prepared are you to offer love to yourself to encourage healing? How ready are you to re-build your relationship with yourself,with your body, with those around you and with life?

If you can learn to identify an emotion, sit with it (no matter how uncomfortable) and process it in a healthy and respectful way, whilst continuing to hold your full self in unconditional positive regard (Phil Collins would recognise this to be a particularly “groovy kind of love” :)), then you’re well on your way to healing your relationship with both food and your body. And sooner or later, you’ll be doing all this naturally ~ and unconsciously. Just like Sparky.*

(* If this posts resonates with you, and you’re ready to follow the trail, you might really enjoy my 12 Days of Christmas series of blog posts. You can find more out here https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/ It’s okay to dip in and out : engage with the parts of the process which draw your attention! Or you may even enjoy coming along to a live weight loss bootcamp event or experiencing 1-1 weight loss coaching. You can find more out here http://www.thighhighbootcamp.com )

Gotta run :)! #DogWithABone #BeATerrier-ist!

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Tails Of The Unexpected!

What kind of rhythm are you settling into?

What kind of rhythm are you settling into?

Yo! (That word is probably sooo “yesterday” but I do LOVE the energy of it :))  And have you noticed how the energy is shifting now as the January rhythm begins to assert itself? As things begin to settle back down after the holidays, I thought it would be good for me to settle into a healthy blogging rhythm myself!

So here’s how I’m going to work it. In addition to some of my “endurance” posts, I’m also going to be writing some “sprint” posts. These will be shorter posts : quotes, quick tips and thought-provoking nudges. All “sprints” will be posted in the “Food For Thought” category to help you to find them easily 🙂

So here comes your first thought-provoking nudge 🙂

Sparky!

Sparky!

I’ve never really been that keen on dogs. In fact, up until 3 months ago, I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. That was until our eyes met across a crowded rescue kennel. I looked at Sparky (a Jack Russell Terrier) and he looked at me (he even did a light bit of that man-showing-off thing which mostly involved a demonstration of all his best tricks, a LOT of “hey- look- at-me!” barking and the occasional wee in the wrong place). And KERPOW!! That was it : love at first sight!

I decided there and then that I wanted to give Sparky a home but I was a little bit worried about my ability to look after an animal (given that my pet ownership curriculum vitae reads : 1 escaped tortoise and a small collection of very short- lived goldfish).

As all the paperwork was being signed, I nervously asked the kennel owners about caring for Sparky. “Oh, it’s absolutely easy. A dog just needs 4 things : plenty of exercise , the right food , regular worming and, most importantly of all, love. That’s it. That’s all he needs to keep his tail wagging.”

And your food for thought today  is : as you consider your body right now, are you caring for it in the best way for you? Are you exercising it in a way that supports your physical and emotional health? Are you feeding it in a way that supports a health-full way of living? Are you ensuring that the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and emotions that are getting in the way of your healthy life are being handled in an effective and supportive way (hey – if only there were worming tablets for this kind of stuff!) ? Oh yeah – and that final question. The big one. Do you love it? Do you know how to love your body?

Gotta run 🙂 ! #LoveThatDog #WagThatTail

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Personal Training Works Best When It Gets Really Personal!

Today's the day!

Today’s the day!

My Facebook newsfeed is jam-packed with folks declaring that today marks the first day of their 2013 “health kick”. Local gyms are starting fitness and weight loss challenges as I type. Personal trainers in every global nook and cranny are reminding me about their services to support the achievement of our weight loss and fitness goals, so we can (at last) be the proud owner of that “dream body”.

As a fitness professional myself, I think that the fitness industry offers valuable support to those of us who want to lead a healthier life. Being physically active is a really important aspect of our journey towards a healthier relationship with our body and towards achieving (and maintaining) our optimal weight .Being physically active encourages us to spend more time in our bodies and gives us the opportunity to develop exquisite levels of body awareness. Bottom line : exercise definitely supports your getting the “bottom line” you really want :)!(That’s just me being “cheeky” :)! Ooops!)

Are you an active fan yet?

Are you an active fan yet?

If you’re on a weight loss journey, you probably agree with everything I’ve just said. And whilst you might be an “intellectual fan” of exercise (and you could probably give a lecture on everything you “should” be doing to get the body of your dreams – and keep it), chances are you’re not an “active fan” (yet :))! Chances are, you wish you didn’t have to do that whole exercise thing – or that someone else could do it for you! Chances are, you might not find it easy to get motivated to move your body. Chances are you might even sense some resistance every time the word “work-out” is mentioned (and chances are, you’re not even sure why that should be the case .. especially because you intellectually acknowledge that working out can move you in the direction of that dream body!).

What often happens at this point is that people decide to engage the services of a personal trainer. Sounds ideal, right? Well, there are some really useful things to be gained from working with a personal trainer. Firstly, they know stuff about physiology; they know what “good form” and good technique looks like; they know about training frequency, intensity and volume. They know the latest thinking on the best ways to achieve your physical goals. The really good ones also know a thing or two about nutrition. Add to the mix that you’re spending time with people who are just “oozing” vibrant energy, body confidence and health (that’s contagious and you might be at serious risk of catching some of that if you spend enough time in their company!) and it all looks incredibly appealing. And all of this is both valuable and important – and, if you take regular training sessions (and eat what they tell you to), sooner or later you get to see physical changes in your body.

Sounds perfect, right? Or can you see where this might be heading? Does this remind you of anything? Like the diet you really didn’t enjoy but you forced yourself to do it anyway to get the results? Did you manage to stay “on track” for good? What happened when your emotional appetite shouted louder than the diet rules? Did going on a diet resolve your relationship with both food and your body? Did going on a diet resolve your emotional issues once and for all? Did you eventually get to love that strict diet in the end? (I’m guessing it was unsustainable and didn’t work out the way you’d hoped, right?)

Are you plugged into your own motivational power source?

Are you plugged into your own motivational power source?

So what am I trying to say here? Here’s the thing : working with a personal trainer can definitely improve your relationship with your body and bring massive physiological benefits. The personal training process can help you to develop confidence in new ways too. But, what if after weeks or months of personal training you still don’t feel motivated to exercise? What if you rely on the personal trainer to take responsibility for your motivation in the longer term? What would happen if you stopped working with the personal trainer? How will working with the personal trainer have contributed towards your developing a life-long love affair with physical activity?

For some lucky people, resolving their emotions, beliefs, values, attitudes and identity around food and their body can be the piece of the puzzle that transforms everything. For these lucky people, once they have been able to stop emotional eating and to start relating to their body and food in healthy ways, they find it easy to do the whole exercise thing. Things just fall into place. They’re enjoying being in their bodies again, enjoying exercise as an end in itself rather than as a means to an end. Motivation comes easily.

For some of us, however, even when we’ve resolved our emotional eating patterns, the exercise piece still doesn’t fit naturally with us. And this is the crux of it all. Until you’ve worked out why you don’t enjoy working out and why you don’t find it easy to access powerful positive motivational forces , you’ll just have to work out how you’re going to pay your personal training bill in the long term! (The minute you “break-up” with your personal trainer, the divorce courts will let them walk away with all the motivation. After all, it was theirs on the first place).

Personal training can be transformational!

Personal training can be transformational!

My view is this : your personal trainer’s responsibility is to help you to become your own best personal trainer. Their intention shouldn’t be to have you as a client as long as they can! Instead, the relationship should exist for a sufficient time – enough time to get to the a point where you are ready to fly solo (in touch with your own motivation and really enjoying a positive relationship with physical activity). In order to get to that point, your personal trainer needs to be skilful at working out what’s really going on with you. Over and above training your physical body (and teaching you how to do that for yourself), they should also acknowledge the all-important mind-body relationship ~ so that all of you is lined up for “effortless” success within the context of physical fitness. That’s right, I actually said effortless and I meant it! I’ll go one step further. What if you were to break out of the “Exercise is hell” paradigm and break into this one “Exercise is a true reward for both me and my body : it is a joyous communion my deepest natural self.”? Are you shouting “Get real!” at the computer screen? (Get real? I just did :)).

If you are considering the personal training route to help yourself get back into regular physical activity, my advice is to ascertain just how personal the experience is going to be! When interviewing a prospective personal trainer, it’s really worth checking out their philosophy. If you meet one who is capable of helping you to explore how your emotions, attitudes, values, beliefs, identity (and even your life purpose) are impacting on your current relationship with physical activity (and food!) – that’s what I call personal! If you meet one who is qualified to help resolve unwanted emotions – that’s what I call personal! If you meet one who knows how to help you to develop supportive beliefs about yourself and physical activity – that’s what I call personal! If you meet one who knows how to help you to get in touch with your most powerful, positive motivational forces – that’s what I call personal!

If you walk into a personal training studio with a mindset that isn’t totally supportive of your fitness / health journey (or supportive of you as a whole for that matter!) then just make sure that, one day, you’re able to walk out of that studio with a whole lot more than the body of your dreams. Just make sure that you’re able to leave all that no longer serves you (physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually) behind. For good.

Make sure it's more than cosmetic!

Make sure it’s more than cosmetic!

Just like forcing yourself to go on a strict diet does little to heal your relationship with both food and your body, personal training that does not acknowledge your unique psychological, emotional and spiritual make-up is at best only that – make-up : a cosmetic that makes the surface look good for a little while and then wears off.

In my experience of the fitness world, fitness professionals are genuinely committed to helping people to develop, and maintain, healthy lifestyles. If you are hoping that getting a personal trainer will help you to resolve your relationship with food and your body, do satisfy yourself that they can support you in this way. I am really thrilled that more and more personal trainers are becoming qualified in the psychological aspects of weight loss and fitness – I’m a huge fan of the holistic approach. And if you meet a personal trainer who you think can help you achieve your fitness goals but may not be qualified in the emotional and psychological side of things, my advice would be to make sure that you find a way of resolving the emotional/psychological spiritual stuff too. I’d suggest finding a qualified coach or therapist who is fit to work out this side of things with you 🙂 This way, every inch of you is headed in the same direction : your body is taking action and your mind will be wired up to support your success!

Here’s the take-away : Only when personal training seeks to explore the deepest truth of who we are, is personal training personal enough.

 Gotta run :)!

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Helping Your Growing Connection!

Woo-hoo! We made it! Welcome to the 12th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

Help is at hand!

Help is at hand!

Today’s post comes in the shape of a short video and it’s all about supporting your continuing success in developing a positive relationship between mind and body, a nourishing relationship which will support your weight loss journey! The video is about the importance of support and offers some suggestions about where to find helpful resources.

Here are some of the resources I mention :

1. My Live Events And 1-1 Coaching Packages

You can find out more about my approach and my live events here http://www.thighhighbootcamp.com  Keep an eye on my website for up-coming tele-seminars too! If you’re interested in 1-1 coaching via Skype, telephone or face-to-face, just get in touch via email or phone and we can take it from there. You can find all my contact details here : https://thighhighbootcamp.com/how-to-contact-jane/

2. Find Me On Facebook And Twitter

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/ThighHighBootcamp

Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/TheBodyWizard

3. Kate Trafford ~ Cruise Control For Life

Kate’s a goal-setting guru and a muse for effortless success! You can sign up to her FREE  blog ,and find other useful resources,  on her website here http://www.katetrafford.com/

4. Tiffany Kay ~ Your Life Two

You can sign up for Tiffany’s FREE three-part video series to help you to re-discover your mid-life mojo here http://www.yourlifetwo.com/

5. Jevon Dangeli ~ Coach , NLP and Hypnosis Trainer

There’s a real treasure trove of free resources to be found here http://jevondangeli.com/ and you can find Jevon’s weight loss CD here http://jevondangeli.com/effortless-weight-loss-or-your-money-back/ (you can listen in to an excerpt too!)

Peace On Earth!

Peace On Earth!

And finally…… It’s been an absolute privilege to share the last 12 days with you all. I appreciate your comments and your emails and I really hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know your body and your appetite in new ways. When you’re deeply connected to your body;  when you’re deeply connected to yourself in a peaceful, joyful and loving way…  you might find yourself connecting to others , to the world around you and to your own life purpose in new ways too.

Imagine what might happen if we all were able to connect in ways like this. Well… I think there would probably be PEACE ON EARTH 🙂 (Did you get the message in the end?!)

Gotta run 🙂 !

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

Trust Transforms!

Welcome to the 11th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here: https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

Yesterday’s post was all about gaining more insights and reviewing progress. And today? Well, today’s the day. This is the big one. If you can crack this, you’re pretty much well on your way to staying “on track” for the long term (and enjoying it!).

Trust is the key!

Trust is the key!

Today’s post is all about learning to trust your body again. And it’s not just about your learning to trust your body, it’s all about your body learning to trust you too! If, in the past, you trusted  “outside” information to determine what/when/how to eat and if you  stopped trusting your real appetite, if you stopped respecting and processing your emotions .. well, it might just be time to start relating to your body in a new way.

Trust is a crucial element of a mutually respectful, loving relationship. If the trust has been broken between you and your body, healing this trust can transform your relationship.

Chances are, you’re in a relationship right now with another person or you’ve experienced relationships in the past. And you may have had experiences of broken trust too or know people who have experienced it. And that means, you’ve probably got a fair bit of expertise in this field already. If you were to give advice on how to build trust in a relationship, what would it be? Can you think of at least 5 different ways to build trust in a relationship and then apply them to the relationship between you and your body?

Here are the 5 ways I came up with :

Take small steps!

Take small steps!

1. Start small You can build confidence and trust in your body by handing over “responsibility” for small things to start with. Whilst your body is a powerful, intelligent organism capable of both managing your appetite and regulating your weight, “you” may not be able to fully trust its capability yet. What is one small thing, one small responsibility you could give back to your body to show that you are beginning to trust it?

Idea : Every time you eat, check in with your body to see if you can gauge how hungry you are. Check whether it’s physiological hunger or an emotion. What’s important to start with, is not how good you are at determining how hungry you are – it’s the act of checking in the first place. The message to your body is “ I am genuinely trying to listen to you. I trust you are giving me some helpful information here. I may not know what that information is but I know it’s important.”

If that feels too much to start with, think of other body signals that you may not always respect, like a sleep signal. Do you ever get to the point in the evening when your body says sleep and your mind says “let’s stay up an watch the film”?. Do you think you could respect that signal and go to sleep? Again the message to your body is “I’m starting to listen. I know you are doing your best to maintain optimal health. I trust your judgement and I’m acting on it.”

Look for the things you can trust!

Look for the things you can trust!

2. Look for the things you can trust, rather than the things you can’t trust yet Often in relationships where trust has been broken, the “wounded” party wants to build trust again but finds themselves always looking for evidence of the behaviour that broke the trust in the first place. For example, if a partner had an affair, the “wounded” party is constantly on the look- out for all the signs of another affair (rather than on constant look- out for all the evidence that their partner is remaining faithful). So, within the context of your relationship with you body, make a list of at least 10 things that you totally trust about it. Consider this question every day and notice how quickly the list grows!

Idea : Write down your list, starting with the phrase “I totally trust my body to ….” Example ~ I totally trust my body to regulate my heart rate. I totally trust my body to grow my finger and toe nails. (Get the idea?)

3. Be honest, be open and be prepared to have the not-so-easy conversations Learning to communicate with your body in an honest way, and being prepared to “stay in the conversation” when things get tough, is key to building trust. The message to your body is “I’m not running away. I’m not just going to switch off the trust. By learning more about you, and by seeking to understand your needs and your motivations, I’m in a better position to build a trusting relationship with you.”

Idea : Have a regular “date” with your body. Set a period of time to one side every week for just you and your body. Get things off your chest (both of you!) and talk about the real stuff. You can use the process I described on the 4th Day of Christmas (that Barry Manilow is a very helpful guy, you know! :)) Using this process also helps to build empathy (something that can really support trust-building). https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/28/connect-communicate-and-collaborate/

Become a cheerleader!

Become a cheer-leader!

4. Acknowledge your partner’s strengths : become a cheer-leader! We’ve probably all been to dinner parties where we’ve met a couple who quite obviously aren’t getting along. They pick and dig at each other, constantly undermining their relationship. And they even do it in public! (Woo-hoo! Hello! Wake-up call coming straight at ya!) How would you feel if someone did that to you? How do you think your body experiences your digs and prods (in public too!)?

If you’re serious about re-building your relationship with your body, and about establishing a climate of trust, then it’s time to start acknowledging your body’s strengths – and then RAVING about them (even in public!) The message to your body is something like this “ I may not have been so good at letting you know this in the past but I want to be with you. Just you. I admire you. You’ve stuck by me through thick-and-thin – literally. I’m in it for the long haul. I want us both to feel really good about being in this relationship. You can trust the fact that I genuinely admire you. I’m proud of you. And to build that trust, I’m going to keep reminding you that I’m on your side. Just like you’ve been on mine.”

Idea : Every day, look at your body and find one thing you love about it. Now go for it with the gushing! Really get yourself into the “I really love this” feeling (you know how to do this now, right?) .A brilliant example of this feeling is in Saturday Night Fever when Doreen says “I love to watch you dance, Tony!” She adores him and when she says these words, we totally believe her because her whole body is giving that message too. So get your Doreen on and get going with the adoration 🙂

Here are some ideas to get you started :

“I just LOVE the way my eyes sparkle when …….”

“It’s incredible how I can let other people know what I’m feeling without having to say a word. What an amazing thing!”

“I adore how my eyebrows tell the whole story by….”

“I’m in awe of my own heartbeat. When I feel it, it makes me realise ……”

Advanced Method 🙂 After I’ve done this exercise, I usually share an Austin Powers moment with myself in front of the mirror : I give myself a wink and say “It’s good to be me!”. This step is completely optional ~ although, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It really makes me giggle 🙂

Be predictable in new ways!

Be predictable in new ways!

5. Be predictable If your partner says they will be at home at 7pm and they always are, it builds trust. Now, thinking in terms of the relationship between you and your body, can your body predict you and can you predict it? I bet, in the past, your body may have been pretty confident that if it gave you a loud and clear “stop eating now!”signal , you wouldn’t stop at all! So now, you’ve got the opportunity to show your body how predictable you can be in a new way, so trust grows between you 🙂

Decide on one thing you can do every day (something that will support your weight loss journey) which will let your body know that it can rely on you. Make sure this behaviour is so regular, that it becomes predictable.

Idea :  (I’m saying this in a very quiet and gentle voice 🙂 and I’ve just winked at you too in an Austin Powers way). Do something physical (your body will love you for it!). 5 minutes a day will do the trick as long as you do it every day and become predictable.

You could stretch, you could dance, you could go for a walk, you could… (well you’ve got the general direction I’m headed in, right?)

Phew – so that’s us done for today! It’s really worth journaling your journey towards a trusting relationship with your body : it’ll probably be a deeply moving experience! And if you’re reading this, wondering whether it’s worth building a trusting relationship with your body, all I can say is that it’s the best thing I ever did for myself.

It's true love!

It’s true love!

I feel privileged to own my body. I am in awe of its strength and tenderness. I love the way it supports me and communicates with me.I love the way it moves. Most of all, I feel that I always have “someone” on my side .. and now, I feel there is no gap between me and my body. We are close, inseparable and deeply connected : walking each other home 🙂 (That’s right, I’m crying : it’s a true love story and it’s okay to cry at those!)

Here are what some of the women who’ve experienced the Thigh-High Boot Camp programme say about their journey with Trust :

Julie is more than 2 stone lighter since boot camp!

Julie is more than 2 stone lighter since boot camp!

Julie (attended Thigh-High Boot Camp in Portrush, Northern Ireland, June 2012) “I spent such a long time in my life not being in touch with my body and hating it. At boot camp, I began an exciting journey to get me back in touch with my body again and what an exciting journey that is! (I’m well on the way to reaching my final destination of overall fabulousness :)). One of the key things I’ve learned is that my body is actually a pretty amazing thing and knows what it’s doing. I’m beginning to trust my body to do the best for me and it’s giving me fabulous results. No guilt, losing weight in an effortless way, getting excited about exercise and generally feeling so much better about myself, my body and my life. Drop the conscious control and guilt and trust your body. The great thing is that when you tune into your body and actually listen to it, it’ll tell you LOUD and CLEAR exactly what it needs. I’m certainly excited about what 2013 will bring!”

Kate

Kate

Kate (attended Thigh-High Boot Camp in Drymen, Scotland, October 2012) “Tuning in to my authentic appetite has been a revelation. It turns out that the part of myself I believed I could trust the least is the part that most deserves my trust and respect.”

Stephanie

Stephanie

Stephanie (attended the programme in Scotland, August 2010) “It’s been a journey… Now I don’t think, I feel. And I feel pretty darn good. And when I’m feeling, I’m not analysing : I am not focusing on losing weight/ body fat. It is just happening. And I’m having what I want when I want. What I want has changed a lot, what appeals to me has changed.”

Gotta run 🙂 ! (#Predictable :))

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013

 

 

Ready For The Next Epiphany?

You're getting even more enlightened!

You’re getting even more enlightened!

Welcome to the 10th day of the 12 Days of Christmas project! (If you are just joining the project now, you can get the full low-down here : https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2012/12/18/welcome-to-the-12-days-of-christmas-project/  and I really recommend that you start the project at Day 1 to get the full benefit!)

Yesterday’s post was all about learning how to be a pilot 🙂 so that you can be confident that you are heading in the right direction – and be aware when you’re wiggling 🙂  (That word makes me giggle!)

And today? Well, it’s already Day 10 and that means that the 12 Days of Christmas project is nearing its end. I thought that today might be a lovely opportunity to check in with what you’re learning as we did on the 5th day. As you continue to check in, I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the progress you’re making, the changes that are occurring and the insights you are gaining. How much more have you learned since the last “Epiphany” on Day 5?

What are you learning that's of value to you?

What are you learning that’s of value to you?

Activity 1 : Your Second Epiphany! As you look back over the whole project , what are the 3 most significant gifts (in terms of learning, insight and awareness) that engaging with this process has brought to you ?  What is changing as a result of your learning? What have you learned in the last 5 days that’s different to what you learned in the first 5?

Activity 2 : Complete The Following Statements

1.Right now food means __________ to me.

2. I would describe my relationship with my body as ______________

3. I know I’m present in my body when ________________________

4. When I look in the mirror I say to myself _____________________

5. Considering the future, in terms of my relationship with food and with my body, I feel ___________________________________________

6. The thought of processing my emotions without the help of food is ____

7. I could support myself on my weight loss journey by ______________

8. My body is ___________________________________________

9. I am becoming more _____________________________________

10. It’s now time for me to stop __________ and to start _____________

The best way to do this exercise is to be as honest as you can! Let whatever comes up, come out 🙂 And as you consider how you’ve completed each of the statements, what are you noticing? What’s changed? What’s new? What would you like to resolve? Are you heading in the right direction for you? (You may sense more statements coming up naturally : let ’em out and learn!)

If anything comes up that you’re not comfortable with, ask yourself this question: “So, this is how/what I’m feeling/thinking/talking/experiencing right now. How do I want to be different?” (Just a wee nudge – remember to answer this positively. Not how you don’t want to be BUT how you DO want to be!)

Remember to fuel the flames!

Remember to fuel the flames!

As you ask this question, you might want to revisit my post on goal-setting and how to get in the mood for action!  Here’s the link : https://thighhighbootcamp.com/2013/01/01/energising-action/

As soon as you feel the powerful, positive state emerging, just ask yourself what’s the next smallest step I could take to help me to keep heading in the right direction? (Then take it 🙂 and use your pilot’s licence :)).

Please feel free to share your learning :sometimes what you’re learning can be a fabulous gift for others (and can really help pennies to drop!)

So that’s us for Day 10 (oh and if you are playing the Get The Message game, we are already on the 3rd and final word..Just 2 more letters to go – but I’m sure, even with a few letters missing,  you’ve got the complete message already!)

Gotta run :)!

JT

© Jane Talbot 2013