Do You Fancy a 1-1 Boot Camp Experience?

Thigh-High Boot Camp Winter Sale 2015Well. Yes. It’s been a while since I last posted a blog, hasn’t it? I’ve been taking time out to nurture other parts of my business , to write  and to have some adventures (well, actually, 365 adventures!)

During 2015, I’m going to focus more on my writing and on developing new programmes, and this means that I won’t be running any live weight loss boot camps until 2016.

However, if you’re really keen to lose weight in a healthy way, if you really want to develop a healthy relationship with food, with your body and with your emotions, then you’re still in the right place 😉 .

Using exactly the same process as I would during a live boot camp, I’m offering 1-1 weight loss coaching via Skype or Google Hangouts. And to say “Thank you” for bearing with me in my blogging absence, I’m offering 3-session coaching packages at a 50% discount.

A 3-session bundle is being offered at £285 instead of £585, and includes a rigorous pre-coaching preparation process. As a weight loss client, you will also receive a copy of the Thigh-High Boot Camp manual normally only provided to attendees at the live boot camp.

This offer is on until the 19th January 2015, and all coaching sessions must have been taken by 15th June 2015. Places are limited, and terms and conditions apply. You can find full details of this offer on my main website here.

May this year be the year that you make peace with your body, with food and with your emotions!

Gotta run!

JT

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To set yourself free, let yourself be!

mouse blog

Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve got food in the house and you just can’t let it be : it whispers to you , prods at you, worms its way into your every thought  until you just have to have it? Maybe you even have to keep going until it’s completely gone.

I’m sure we’ve all been there and know what it’s like not to be able to let food be! And here’s my take on this : if you just can’t let food be, chances are you’re just not letting yourself be! Chances are, you’re actually using food to prevent yourself from BEING.

Well, here’s a revolutionary thought for you to try on (especially if you consider yourself to be an emotional eater) : what if you could just let yourself be?

What if you were able to let yourself be fully present to your inner experiences : allowing (even welcoming!) emotions, thoughts and feelings to come and go , whatever they were ? What if you were able to be fully present to your outer experiences, whether these experiences matched up to your idea of how life SHOULD be or not? This is what I mean by just letting yourself be.

My prediction is this : let yourself be, I mean really be – and you’ll always have a CHOICE about whether you let food be or not.

To set yourself free , just let yourself be!

(And if you’re not quite sure how to let yourself be in this way, I’ll be posting more about this soon 🙂 )

© Jane Talbot 2013

A Piece Of Cake.

My son allowed me a whole 15 minutes to play on his Mac and I came up with this very short film!

I’m just learning, experimenting (and mostly playing 🙂 ) at the moment ~ so please forgive the “roughness” (it’s my first attempt and I’m still finding my way around!)

If you’re an emotional eater, I hope this film makes you smile and I hope it gives you hope 🙂

Sometimes you just gotta smile,

© Jane Talbot 2013

Let’s Try It Again And This Time With Feeling!

Affirmation 2

I had such lovely feedback about yesterday’s post (which was all about setting intentions and connecting with the motivation behind the intention) that today I’ve decided to post one of my favourite “intentions” which may help to bring you both focus and courage as you continue your journey towards optimal health!

So, here goes  ~  “Every time I dare to feel, I am helping myself to heal”.

You can read a little bit more about how useful this intention might be here

If you’re enjoying the notion of daily intention-setting (and are looking for a little inspiration) just keep your eye on the “Heading In The Right Direction” category which you’ll find on the right-hand side of the page. I’ll post any “goodies” there and you can just help yourself 😛

With you every step of the way,

© Jane Talbot 2013

How To Stay Upright On The Wobble~Board Of Life!

THBC Blog Wobbleboard

Anyone who has been to a fitness class in the last decade or so has heard the term “core  stability” thrown about as frequently as the ubiquitous kettle~bell 🙂 You may have heard fitness professionals talking about which exercises are particularly good for your physical core – and why core strength is important for sports performance, for long-term health ~ and for the way our bodies look. And I’m not arguing with the validity of all that. It makes perfect sense.

But why stop there? For me, health and well~being goes beyond the physical. The principles of core training can be usefully applied in both the psychological and emotional realms of our lives too.

When life throws a curveball at us, it’s good to know that our physical body can support us. And it’s also good to know that we can rely on our core psychological and emotional stability too. The ability to maintain equilibrium whilst honouring challenging emotions ; the ability to maintain an attitide of loving kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others in difficult times; the ability to maintain hope, to stand up and be who we really are, to hold supportive beliefs about ourselves and the world around us; the ability to engage with life as it really is, rather than as we crave it to be ~ this is true core stability.

True core stability is what keeps us upright on the wobble~board of life! And when you have developed the ability for this kind of stability, you’ll no longer need to rely on food (or any other kind of crutch) to keep you upright ~ you’ll be too busy enjoying the wobbly nature of full-on living 🙂

© Jane Talbot 2013

Feel It To Heal It!

Feel it to heal it!

As “emotional eaters”, we can spend an incredible amount of energy trying to avoid our feelings. Eating is not only a way of numbing our feelings but it also denies us the opportunity of learning from, and accommodating the life-affirming validity of, our feelings. Whilst we cling on to the hope that eating will “make it all better”, it won’t. We all know that.

In fact, eating increases our suffering – it’s an act of “resistance” that prevents us from experiencing life as it is. Our eating behaviour is an attempt to bridge the gap between how things really are and how we’d like them to be. It just doesn’t work.

However, we may reach a point where we find the courage and capacity in ourselves to generate sufficient equilibrium to take bold steps. We can step towards acknowledging our feelings; towards offering ourselves and our emotions compassion; towards meeting the deep unmet needs our emotions are expressing in healthy ways ; towards actually feeling our feelings. Yes, actually feeling feelings 🙂 !!

By being in our body  and present to our emotions, by learning to give welcoming refuge to all parts of ourselves, by offering compassion to our own wounds, we begin to heal. It is through such tender, active feeling that we achieve the deepest, most joyful healing. It is through such feeling that we learn to experience the joy of life AS IT ACTUALLY IS.

Feeling leads to healing 🙂 Oh – and in case you are wondering – as we learn to be with our emotions and with the glorious messy nature of life in this way, most of us experience the added bonus of a naturally emerging, healthy body. As we stop resisting, the weight stops persisting.

Keeping it real,

© 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

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