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

Welcome Your Whole Self Home!

Appetite for lifeWhen we “battle” with our weight; when we attempt to “overcome” so-called negative emotions;  when we “hate” our bodies;  when we desire to “beat” our appetite;  when we numb the gap between how things are and how we’d like them to be with food or with alcohol ~ we only increase our suffering.

All these actions are a form of resistance. Resisting how things really are.  And, as many thought~ leaders in the field of mindfulness and self-compassion suggest, pain multiplied by resistance equals suffering. (Buddhist maths seems to be quite simple!)

So maybe… just maybe… it’s time to do something different. Maybe it’s time to stop the war. Maybe it’s time to drop the resistance. Maybe it’s time to reduce the suffering. Maybe it’s time to make peace. Maybe it’s time to welcome our whole self back home.
When we turn towards the fullness of who we really are;  when we are prepared to be fully present to life and to our inner experiences ~ we develop a completely different appetite. An appetite for full-on living. And when our appetite for life increases (and we satisfy that appetite in healthy ways) , we might just notice our body aligning itself with its new way of being 🙂

“Resistance is futile” ~ The Borg

© Jane Talbot 2013

Does The Scale Make You Wail?

maraboli

How often have you woken up feeling really good about yourself and the world, only to step on the scale and find that the day which seemed to be going so well suddenly takes a complete nose dive?

That’s right – that scale seems to be a pretty powerful thing. Even though we were feeling really good feelings before we took “the step” , the scale now tells us how wrong we were .

Is this ringing any bells? If it is , then you might just want to stop for a moment and challenge the power and validity of the scale!

Would you use a thermometer to measure your heart~rate ? Would you use a pedometer to measure your blood~pressure ? Would you use a stop-watch to measure your blood glucose?  Of course you wouldn’t!

So why are using a set of weighing scales to measure your worthiness; your attractiveness;  your deepest, rawest beauty;  your talents ; your unique gifts to the world;  and the full glory of your messy, wonderful, human spirit?

As Steve Maroboli says “the scale can only give a reflection of your numerical relationship with gravity”.  Nothing more – nothing less.

If the scale makes you wail, it might be time to step into a new relationship with yourself . And when you start to relate to yourself in healthy ways, then the benefits are so huge, they’ll probably be immeasurable 🙂

© Jane Talbot 2013

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

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

Body Wisdom 101

guruThere are so many weight loss  “experts” out there that it can all get very confusing . And there is so much conflicting information out there too that it can set our heads in a spin! We find ourselves questioning which expert (or piece of research) is actually “right”.

 I’m not suggesting that we ignore the research and ignore the opinions of “experts”. What I’m suggesting is that all that “stuff” out there can undermine our confidence in our own ability to make the right choices for ourselves.

The thing is ~ you know a great deal more about your body, your appetite and your emotions than you think you do . All the wisdom you need for achieving and maintaining a healthy body-weight and a healthy life- style is right at your finger tips . In fact, it’s IN your finger tips . All you have to do is learn to listen to your body and to your emotions.

Developing confidence in your body’s innate wisdom provides a robust foundation for assessing the validity of all that “outside” information. This confidence helps you to make choices that support your own unique journey to health.

So maybe it’s time to turn to the “inside” information, so that a deeper wisdom can emerge ~ a wisdom that can be synthesised with the “outside” information in a way that serves you . And maybe it’s also worth remembering, that just like the “outside” information , the “inside” information is changing all the time ~ there’s no better time for you to keep your finger on the pulse 🙂

If you want to know who the perfect weight loss guru is for you ~ just take a look in the nearest mirror!

© 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