10 Questions Diet – coming soon!

passionflower-1643154_1280How would it feel, if one day you would be able to stick to your healthy eating plan, follow it through and know, that this time you are going to succeed and that in a few months you will look and feel fantastic.

How would it be to know that there will be no setbacks and the weight you lost will never come back.

10 Questions Diet will help you do just that.

Anna Storey was a trainee psychotherapist when she realized, that in a course of her personal therapy she has not only got rid of old psychological blocks, that were holding her back, but has also lost some weight and has dramatically changed her diet.
Later, working with clients in her private practice, Anna has noticed the same things happening to some of her clients.

Are you tired of dieting?

Have you tried and failed to lose weight?

Maybe a diet worked for you at first, but then you just put all that weight back on again?

Losing weight isn’t easy – otherwise, why would overweight people continue to put up with prejudice, disapproval and feelings of guilt and shame?

In fact, almost one in four adults in England is classified as obese.

There is no genetic explanation why some people are unable to regulate their food intake. Research indicates that the answer may lie in our emotional relationship with food.

It may not be real hunger that pushes us to reach for second helpings, but actually a response to an emotional need elsewhere, which is nothing to do with food.

This book will offer you 10 questions to explore, think about and answer as honestly as possible. The answers will help you find out what your relationship with food really is.

You will think about why you want to go on a diet now and how thin do you want to be.

We will explore your dieting history.

You will discover what your weight means to you. You will visualize yourself being thin and see how you feel about it.

We will discuss the role food played in your family– what messages did you get from your parents about eating or not eating? What cultural attitudes to food were predominant? How were overweight people regarded?

As a result, you will learn to start listening to your body, to recognize your emotional needs and find other ways of fulfilling them, rather than overeating.

Instead of fighting your body, you will begin to live in harmony with it, and to enjoy your newfound energy and drive.

Getting Into Shape After Having A Baby

happy selfGETTING INTO SHAPE AFTER HAVING A BABY

One of the most common problems facing new mums is losing weight after having a baby. I can remember discussing various diets with my girlfriends and looking forward to recovering my pre-baby body. I also remember really struggling with being on a diet and not quite succeeding. My friend’s experiences are quite similar to mine. So why do diets so often don’t work? I did not get my answers until quite a few years later when I was seeing clients as a counsellor and having counselling myself.

If you are looking after a lively toddler (or two!), you might be craving food because you are tired, not because you are hungry. Before starting on yet another diet, which is likely to make you even more exhausted, it is worth asking yourself a few simple questions: Why am I reaching for food now? Am I tired? Sleepy? Just need some comfort? There are many other ways of fulfilling these needs rather than food.

Losing weight isn’t easy – otherwise, why would overweight people continue to put up with prejudice, disapproval and feelings of guilt and shame?
In fact, almost one in four adults in England is classified as obese.
There is no genetic explanation why some people are unable to regulate their food intake. Research indicates that the answer may lie in our emotional relationship with food.
It may not be real hunger that pushes us to reach for second helpings, but actually a response to an emotional need elsewhere, which is nothing to do with food.
Well known weight loss companies have for many years successfully used group counselling techniques to help people lose weight.
In my practice, I work with clients on resolving emotional blocks that prevent them from achieving their perfect weight.
During sessions we first find out what the client’s relationship with food really is. What does he or she feel just before reaching for food? And what about after? What do they say to themselves when they overeat?
Next, we explore what being overweight means to my client. We experiment with my clients seeing themselves thin and imagining how their life is going to change as the result.
We discuss the role food played in a family of origin – what messages were given by parents about eating or not eating? What cultural attitudes to food were predominant? How were overweight people regarded?

If you would like to lose weight, start noticing when you overeat – do you reach for biscuits when you are tired? Upset? Anxious? Is there anything you can do to deal with your emotional discomfort instead of eating? Paying attention to and resolving a psychological issue is a way to loose weight for good, much more effective than a crush diet (which is likely to make you even more stressed and irritable).

Taking supplements might also help you lose weight after pregnancy. Certain food cravings indicate that your body is lacking vitamins or minerals. For instance, if you can’t live without peanut butter, it means that your vitamin B intake is insufficient. Taking a supplement instead of dipping into the jar will greatly improve your waistline!
Craving cheese is often a sign of Calcium and Phosphorus deficiency. Try taking a supplement or eating more broccoli – it is high in calcium and phosphorus and has a lot less calories than cheese.
If you need comfort food when you are stressed – give Omega 3 a try and make sure you take it for at least a month. Essential Fatty Acids improve brain functioning and might make you feel calmer and clear the brain fog.

Quite often food cravings are not a sign of a particular vitamin shortage, but just indicate that you need rest. One client complained that she was a chocolate addict and could not get rid of the habit. A born perfectionist, she could never take a break and relax, so the chocolate for her became a substitute for a good rest.

Research indicates that overweight people, who try, but don’t manage to loose weight, often don’t have clear motivation. So when you decide to loose some weight, first ask yourself – how thin would you like to be? What does being thin means for you? Do you know your ideal weight and have a clear plan of how to reach it? Otherwise, your weight loss program will become just another exercise in self-criticism and low self-esteem.

Don’t blame yourself for an occasional chocolate or second helpings. Internal criticism is not likely to stop you eating too much, but will definitely make you feel bad and as a result – more comfort eating! Pay attention to your feelings and look after yourself, then you will not only achieve your perfect weight, but also learn to live in harmony with your body.

Anna Storey at www.annastorey-counselling.com

ARE YOU REALLY OVERWEIGHT?

gymnastics-1951237_1280Have you tried and failed to loose weight? You started on a popular new diet, cutting out all the things you enjoy eating, lost a few kilos, then, after a stressful day at work, came home and had a pack of biscuits at once. Diet failed, you felt even more miserable and desperate than when you started.
After several similarly unsuccessful attempts you just gave up, hating yourself for the lack of will power.

Try to look at it differently.
Losing weight is not about dieting, depriving yourself of your favorite foods and feeling miserable. It is also not about trying to become someone else – a thin model in a magazine or a celebrity. To really loose weight you have to engage in a slow process of becoming yourself – learning to take care of your needs and listen to your body, starting to like yourself a bit more. As a counsellor, I would agree with the view of Ayurvedic medicine, which states that obesity is often an external manifestation of our emotional problems.
I would not even call this process “loosing weight”. It implies loss and has a negative connotation. I would rather say “getting into shape”, finding your natural weight and staying that way.

So where do we start?
For a start, I would advise to do what in psychotherapy is called “a reality check”. This means looking at your fantasies, anxieties and assumptions and seeing “what is really happening”. For instance – how do you see yourself? If you see yourself as fat, then how do you know that it is true? Is your judgment based on the facts – like your dress size or your BMI? Or is it part of your negative self-image, that is part of the bigger problem called low self-esteem? In that case, it would be advisable to work through your issues in counselling and then reassess the situation. Or maybe you are told you are overweight by your friends, family, partner? Was it always your role in the family – to be a “fat one”? Reality check will help you see things as they are, not as you imagine them to be.

But what if after careful consideration you have established that you are, indeed, overweight, and would benefit from losing a few pounds?
Then we will need to explore what is it that you are trying to lose?
What your extra weight is for you? On the surface, we might hate being fat and would love to loose weight as soon as possible. But quite often there is a hidden reason why we are staying fat. Unless we discover what it is that is holding us back, all our attempts at dieting will fail.
An example could be my client from Aylesbury, Sarah*, who tried many diets and always ended up putting on more weight that she had lost. When I suggested to Sarah that she imagines herself being thin, she got very anxious and was unable to focus. Exploring the roots of this anxiety, we discovered that, for Sarah, her weight was some kind of protection. Without it, she imagined herself being vulnerable in the hostile world. Working with this vulnerability and restoring my client’s self esteem allowed Sarah to psychologically let go of her extra pounds and she started losing weight slowly but permanently.

Another client, Helen* from Oxford, used her body shape as an excuse for not making changes in her life. She was putting up with a dead end job “because no one is going to hire somebody so fat”. She also avoided thinking about her abusive relationship, “because if she will leave no one else will want her”. Through therapy, Helen’s feeling of self-worth increased dramatically and she subsequently felt able to make necessary changes in her career and relationships. When she stopped using her extra pounds as an excuse for her passivity, she no longer needed them and lost weight naturally.

After you find out what being overweight means for you and achieve clarity, you can then start building a new relationship with food. Your first step will be to find out how is this relationship working at the moment.

*all names have been changed

Kundalini Yoga for weight loss

little-girl-1894125_1280Did you know, that Kundalini Yoga works on weight loss in a number of ways: it speeds up metabolism via the thyroid gland and by making more oxygen available to the cells, it reestablishes hormonal balance, it helps restore energy flow into problem areas, and it works on emotional healing. Often people accrue excess weight as an emotional buffer, or an a fear response to their own inner vitality. I often recommend Kundalini yoga to my clients, as it might help you to work through your resistance to weight loss.

Weight Management Counselling

hotdogWeight Management Counselling

Food in Your Family of Origin

Another important topic to clarify before you start dieting is the attitude to food in your family of origin.
Here are some questions to consider:
What was the attitude to food in your family? Was it a pleasure? Or was it an enemy? Was food used as a reward?
Were any members of your immediate family overweight? If so, what was the general attitude towards them? Was somebody in your family underweight? Was anyone on a diet?
The relationship with food in your family of origin played an important part in establishing your feelings around food in general. By understanding the roots of your troubles you will find better ways to work through these issues.

Weight Management Counseling

Weight Management

girl on swingWeight Management 5

A Lesson in History

If you were to look back at the history of your weight problems – when did it start? At school, earlier than that, or was it quite recent?
It is very important to remember exactly when you realized you are overweight and decided, that it is a problem. Were there any significant events in your life that precipitated it?
Very often an unresolved trauma from the past can trigger a weight gain. When you process the traumatic event in therapy and “let it go”, extra weight often goes with it.

Weight Management after Christmas 3

angryWeight Management after Christmas

Question no 3:

What does “being overweight” means for you?

Following on from the previous post, we are now going to explore what does your weight mean for you? What is the significance of being big?

When you imagine yourself being thin – how are you feeling?
Happy and energized or, maybe, a bit scared? Has your weight become a sort of “protection” against various problems in your
life? This is a topic worth exploring before starting on a weight
loss regime. If your weight has become your defense, you are unlikely to part with it easily.

For one of my clients being overweight was an excuse to stick with a dead end job. Whenever she started thinking of changing jobs, she told herself that the potential employers will be prejudiced against her because of her weight. Another client stayed in an abusive relationship because she was scared to be left on her own if she were to leave.

Think of any issues and problems that you might be putting off, using your weight as an excuse. Work out solutions now, then becoming thin might not seem so “scary”!

Weight Management after Christmas

anis-2170626_1280January is the time of year when many people start a diet. Before you do so, here are a few questions to ask yourself. If you will be clear with your answers, it will mean that you are ready to get fit and know exactly what you want. If not, you better take some time reflecting upon them and finding your answers.

Question no 1:
How thin is enough?

Working with my clients on weight management issues, I often find that a client really wants to loose weight, but does not know exactly how thin he or she would like to be. If that is a case, however successful your diet will be, you will never feel truly satisfied.
Imagine yourself being the ideal weight – what size are you? what is your weight? how are you feeling? what kind of clothes are you wearing? Write everything down and think again, really become this “thinner you”. When you are absolutely convinced that this is the size and weight you would like to be, you are ready to explore the next question.

LOSING WEIGHT – IS IT ALL IN YOUR HEAD?

Have you tried and failed to loose weight? You started on a popular new diet, cutting out all the things you enjoy eating, lost a few kilos, then, after a stressful day at work, came home and had a pack of biscuits at once. Diet failed, you felt even more miserable and desperate than when you started.
After several similarly unsuccessful attempts you just gave up, hating yourself for the lack of will power.

Try to look at it differently.
Losing weight is not about dieting, depriving yourself of your favorite foods and feeling miserable. It is also not about trying to become someone else – a thin model in a magazine or a celebrity. To really loose weight you have to engage in a slow process of becoming yourself – learning to take care of your needs and listen to your body, starting to like yourself a bit more. As a counsellor, I would agree with the view of Ayurvedic medicine, which states that obesity is often an external manifestation of our emotional problems.
I would not even call this process “loosing weight”. It implies loss and has a negative connotation. I would rather say “getting into shape”, finding your natural weight and staying that way.

So where do we start?
For a start, I would advise to do what in psychotherapy is called “a reality check”. This means looking at your fantasies, anxieties and assumptions and seeing “what is really happening”. For instance – how do you see yourself? If you see yourself as fat, then how do you know that it is true? Is your judgment based on the facts – like your dress size or your BMI? Or is it part of your negative self-image, that is part of the bigger problem called low self-esteem? In that case, it would be advisable to work through your issues in counselling and then reassess the situation. Or maybe you are told you are overweight by your friends, family, partner? Was it always your role in the family – to be a “fat one”? Reality check will help you see things as they are, not as you imagine them to be.

But what if after careful consideration you have established that you are, indeed, overweight, and would benefit from losing a few pounds?
Then we will need to explore what is it that you are trying to lose?
What your extra weight is for you? On the surface, we might hate being fat and would love to loose weight as soon as possible. But quite often there is a hidden reason why we are staying fat. Unless we discover what it is that is holding us back, all our attempts at dieting will fail.
An example could be my client from Aylesbury, Sarah*, who tried many diets and always ended up putting on more weight that she had lost. When I suggested to Sarah that she imagines herself being thin, she got very anxious and was unable to focus. Exploring the roots of this anxiety, we discovered that, for Sarah, her weight was some kind of protection. Without it, she imagined herself being vulnerable in the hostile world. Working with this vulnerability and restoring my client’s self esteem allowed Sarah to psychologically let go of her extra pounds and she started losing weight slowly but permanently.

Another client, Helen* from Oxford, used her body shape as an excuse for not making changes in her life. She was putting up with a dead end job “because no one is going to hire somebody so fat”. She also avoided thinking about her abusive relationship, “because if she will leave no one else will want her”. Through therapy, Helen’s feeling of self-worth increased dramatically and she subsequently felt able to make necessary changes in her career and relationships. When she stopped using her extra pounds as an excuse for her passivity, she no longer needed them and lost weight naturally.

After you find out what being overweight means for you and achieve clarity, you can then start building a new relationship with food. Your first step will be to find out how is this relationship working at the moment.

*all names have been changed

Getting into shape the Ayurvedic way

anis-2170626_1280AYURVEDIC DIET

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning “the science of life”. The holistic Ayurvedic tradition has its roots in ancient India. Ayurveda teaches that different foods affect people in different ways, depending upon our individual constitution. So a certain diet can help one person to loose weight, but has damaging effects upon another person’s health.
I prefer Ayurvedic approach to dieting as it is treating each person individually. It is not about loosing weight or starving yourself, but about learning more about your body and adjusting your lifestyle to suit your needs.
According to Ayurveda, we all belong to one of three dosha types: Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Three doshas represent three fundamental forces that regulate life – air, fire and water. All three doshas are present in every living organism. But not all the organisms have the same ratio of one dosha to the other two. Most of us have a dominant dosha that influences our physical and mental characteristics.

The following test will help you to get a general idea of your individual constitution. Read each statement and circle a number from 0 to 4. Total your score for each dosha by adding the circled numbers. Write down your total for each dosha.

VATA

I don’t like cold weather 0 1 2 3 4

I don’t gain weight easily 0 1 2 3 4

I often become anxious
and restless 0 1 2 3 4

My moods change quickly 0 1 2 3 4

I am creative, imaginative 0 1 2 3 4

I walk quickly 0 1 2 3 4

I have difficulty falling or
staying asleep 0 1 2 3 4

I tend to make and change
friends 0 1 2 3 4

I learn quickly and forget
quickly 0 1 2 3 4

I become constipated easily 0 1 2 3 4

Under stress I am easily
excited 0 1 2 3 4

I have irregular appetite 0 1 2 3 4

My skin tends to be dry,
especially in winter 0 1 2 3 4

My feet and hands tend to be
cold 0 1 2 3 4

VATA TOTAL ——————————–

PITTA

I don’t like hot weather 0 1 2 3 4

My weight is average for
my build 0 1 2 3 4

I tend to become intense,
irritable 0 1 2 3 4

My moods are intense and
change slowly 0 1 2 3 4

I am intelligent, efficient,
a perfectionist 0 1 2 3 4

I have a determined walk 0 1 2 3 4

I sleep well, for an average
length of time 0 1 2 3 4

Most of my friends are work
related 0 1 2 3 4

I have a good general
memory 0 1 2 3 4

I have regular bowel habits 0 1 2 3 4

Under stress, I am easily
angered, critical 0 1 2 3 4

I am uncomfortable skipping
meals 0 1 2 3 4

My skin is soft, ruddy 0 1 2 3 4

I like cold foods and drinks 0 1 2 3 4

My hair is fine, thin, reddish,
or prematurely gray 0 1 2 3 4

PITTA TOTAL ——————————-

KAPHA

I don’t like damp, cool
weather 0 1 2 3 4

I gain weight easily 0 1 2 3 4

I can be slow or depressed 0 1 2 3 4

My moods are mostly steady 0 1 2 3 4

My mind is calm, steady,
stable 0 1 2 3 4

My walk is slow and steady 0 1 2 3 4

I generally sleep long and
soundly 0 1 2 3 4

My friendships are
long-lasting, sincere 0 1 2 3 4

I have a good long-term
memory 0 1 2 3 4

I eat and digest slowly 0 1 2 3 4

I am stubborn, not easily
ruffled 0 1 2 3 4

I can skip meals easily 0 1 2 3 4

My skin is oily, moist 0 1 2 3 4

I have good stamina, steady
energy levels 0 1 2 3 4

KAPHA TOTAL ——————————-

Your highest scoring dosha is your dominant dosha.
Most of the people have two high-scoring doshas, which means you can follow a diet for one dosha type in winter and another one in summer.