Our third guest blogger is Sam Heywood-Cox North Staffordshire. Here Sam tells us why she loves Mondays.
Mondays Are My Favourite Day:
For most Monday is a daunting thing – a full week of work to look forward to with all of the pressures and pains of balancing life and work. For me it’s different, Mondays for me return me to balance and new possibilities and most importantly my weekly trip to the local well known diet club.
My journey began in March 2015, prompted largely by two items of clothing:
I bought jeans from M&S (a usually generous manufacturing size) in a size 14.
So, I went to get some “spanx” type underwear to stop the wobble and, when I put them on at home…Muffin Tops!
I was mortified. I had always been slimmer but the post-baby weight was just not shifting.
TIME FOR ACTION
With head hung low and without a word to anyone other than my husband I arrived at the group. Standing on those scales for the first time was terrifying and I was shocked at how much I weighed. I vowed to change.
Roll on to Now:
Mondays are great. I have been at target since 5th October 2015 and I love it.
After dropping my daughter at school I do the shopping according to the meal plan written over the weekend – doing it this way means there is virtually no waste and I am not tempted by the two for one offers which means we save money too.
There are still snacks in for my husband and daughter but the trolley is filled largely with the 229 free to eat any time, any amount foods and some store cupboard staples.
It helps that I enjoy cooking, my husband and son have been really fussy eaters so I am the master of invention and hidden veg.
I work on my business until 2:45 p.m. and always walk to collect my daughter from school; a little daily exercise goes a long way.
If dinner is more involved than freezer to over to plate I prepare what I can, come 5:15 p.m. I am off to group. (I have even coerced a friend into coming and she looks and feels great too).
The group is a wonderful experience, I have made friends, been able to help others and now get regular exercise by helping promote the group through leaflet delivery.
At first it felt daunting facing the scales but, with very small changes to the way I cook and the ingredients used, it has been easy to implement. Even on the weeks where I have gained rather than lost (and believe me it is about 50:50) going to the group has given me support and encouragement, and some great food ideas, including new ingredients (kohlrabi?).
Moreover the group and the weight loss has given me back my body confidence. I see myself in a shop window and see a beautiful lady rather than the leggings and baggy jumpers of 2014. I smile more, I dress better and have even gone back to wearing short skirts.
I am now embarking on a career as a wellness coach – not for this particular diet plan but generally to help people hit their own personal goals.
For me it was about finding my self-confidence and in finding a regime that suited my life-style I have certainly done that. There are so many options for health available out there that you are bound to find one thing that suits you.
My Go To Brunch:
Wilted spinach and dry friend mushrooms and tomatoes
Two dry fried eggs
Sam is 44 years old and has two children. She lives in North Staffordshire with her husband and daughter, her grown up son lives up the road and comes home regularly for meals. Sam runs an MLM selling cards, wrapping, stationery and more. She is also a wellness coach with a continued professional development plan in place.
Welcome to day 1 of my healthy eating blog. Over the next 29 days we will explore healthy eating and hear from lots of guest bloggers who will share their experiences and knowledge.
You might already be a healthy eater and be looking for new ideas and inspiration or you might want to improve your diet for a variety of reasons. Either way this is a good place to be. A non judgemental place with the intention of inspiring and sharing.
‘What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve’
It might be that you use the next 30 days to make changes to your diet. I will be doing the same. I have qualifications in nutrition so I understand the impact of a healthy diet, but the theory and the practical are different things! The first place I will start is with my mindset. As a Hypnotherapist I believe that ‘what the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve’. What this means to me is you’ve got to want to do it, believe you can do and set your mind to it!
What makes us want to do something? Motivation is a broad and complex subject! But if you can get motivated you can be unstoppable. Motivation comes from your ‘why’. So think of a time when you were really truly motivated. Maybe you did something sporty, or saved up for something, or studied for something or drove 100 miles to get that Christmas present that was out of stock that you knew your kid would love! When you have really committed yourself to something you would have been motivated to do it and your motivation comes from the ‘why’ behind it.
Five reasons to east more healthily
Your ‘why’ might not be obvious and can be interesting to explore. But for now let’s look at 5 reasons to eat healthy and maybe one of these will resonate with you.
1 – More energy
Think of a lightbulb that is running out and flickering. It can barely muster a steady glow. That’s what it can feel like to have low energy. It’s not a nice feeling. With low energy running the home and doing our jobs become much harder, not to mention having the will to exercise. Although we have physical, mental and spiritual energy, the physical is very important for us to function! The more energy you have, the more you can enjoy life to the full.
2 – Better sleep
If you are pumping your body full of unhealthy ingredients and sugar this may affect your sleep. I don’t know how well you sleep but I know for sure when people go sugar free, they all tell me that their sleep improves. When you eat healthy food, your energy is more stable throughout the day. So when it comes to sleep time you are ready.
3 – Savour the flavor
When you are not eating randomly you might find that you are more appreciative of what you eat. You might eat a wider range of foods and as a result enjoy the tastes and flavours more. Taste is a major pleasure sensor and if you eat less sugar you will find that the sweetness that mother nature has put in fruit is actually enough. If you are eating lots of chocolate, biscuits and sweets and you reduce this, you might yourself enjoying other forms of sweetness like dates and other dried fruit. You have between 2000 and 5000 tastebuds just on the front and back of your tongue. Bring those tastebuds to life! This leads to feeling more satisfied and satisfaction can make a lot of difference to your quality of life.
4 – Lose weight
A by product of eating more healthily might be losing weight. This might be your big ‘why’. You might have higher self-esteem as a slimmer you. Or want to be able to wear different clothes. You might feel more attractive or be more agile when exercising. Being overweight is considered a health risk. Fat in the viscal area (round your stomach) in particular is a risk as it squashes your organs and puts them under pressure. Your risk of diabetes and heart disease are higher if you are overweight.
5 – Treat yourself
We often use the word ‘treat’ when we are having unhealthy food. Maybe a chocolate bar or a takeaway. We do it with kids too. We use sweets as treats and bribes! But really these aren’t the treats our bodies want! Your body wants nutrients, good fats, fibre so it can it can do its best work for you. Your body thinks a treat is something different. The good news is that you can have more as most healthy treats as on the whole, they are less calorie dense.
So maybe one of those five things will be your reason ‘why’. Or maybe you have a ‘why’ of your own. I would love to hear it in the comments of this blog.
What this blog is:
This is a 30 day blog about health eating where different people will share their thoughts and experience
This is a non-judgmental place of inspiration
This is a place to learn, pick up tips and think about your own eating
What this blog isn’t:
This isn’t a weight loss plan. Although losing weight is often a by-product of eating a healthier diet! I do help people lose weight with Hypnotherapy but that is not the purpose of this blog.
It isn’t a place to feel regret about the situation of your health right now. Today is a chance to make changes!
Your mind power is the most powerful thing you own.
In fact so powerful, you even have two! The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind helps you operate in the ‘now’ and makes rationale decisions. The subconscious operates at a deeper level and looks to protect us in all we do. You can read more about your two minds here
On Day 2 we started to look at mind chatter. Many of my clients spend more than 50% of their day thinking negatively or hearing negative mind chatter. If you watched sad films for that amount of time, they would probably lower your mood. But the good news is, if you spent the same amount of time watching positive films this would no doubt lift your mood.
Now this isn’t saying you shouldn’t watch sad films or feel negative emotions because we are human beings. We need to feel the whole range of emotions to have a complete human experience. This is about being aware that when a negative thought comes into our mind, it may not be the truth and maybe we shouldn’t spend time dwelling on it or believing it if it makes us feel bad.
Negative thoughts are like criminals in your mind
Say you lost your job. This is a serious life affecting event and can have a huge effect on people. Now say you spent much of your time thinking about:
‘I should have worked harder’
‘Why didn’t I take that course so I would be better’
‘I’m no good’
‘I’m not clever’
‘I’ll never get another job’
These thoughts are like criminals in your mind.
You might spend a few hours a day thinking about these things. These thoughts may run concurrently in your mind and feel like a cloud around your head, stifling you. When your friends and family are talking to you, you might not be listening to what they are saying because you are so wrapped up in what you are thinking. You can’t really read or watch TV properly because you are thinking about the ‘bad stuff’. It starts affecting your sleep. You lose enthusiasm for things you used to enjoy. All because of these thoughts. These thoughts are affecting your enjoyment of life, your relationships and opportunities. You might find it harder to get another job because your self-esteem is low and everything becomes much more difficult.
You need mind COP ne naw ne naw
Mind COP is a good COP. He (or she!) is there, patrolling in your head, looking out for negative thoughts and helping you to; Catch them. Own them. Protect yourself.
Tomorrow I will be showing you mind how COP will protect you against those criminal negative thoughts in your mind. And yes, you really do have the power of arrest (in real life, it’s a citizens arrest ). We will look at how mind COP will help you make arrests and bang the baddies to rights.
Now all this talk about mind COP and criminal negative thoughts is using our imagination. This is the beauty of the mind. It’s imaginative (which is a problem when it creates negative thoughts, phobias and anxiety) but wonderful when it creates excitement, possibility and power.
So let’s imagine mind COP now…. close your eyes (but read this first!). Can you see mind COP? What can you see? Does mind COP have a voice? A uniform? A face? How big is mind COP? How will mind COP help you?
You create your own thoughts you see. With your amazing, powerful, imaginative mind.
Here’s the plan:
Keep noting your mind chatter in your notebook
Read your gratitude list often
Come back tomorrow and I will show you Mind COP in action catching those criminals and keeping your mind safe
You’ve completed your first week of 30 days to a happier you. I wonder what you’ve noticed about your thoughts and the feelings they generate? And maybe you feel that you have a lot more control over your happiness than you think…..
You are the owner of your happiness
Here’s a reminder of what you’ve been up to over the past week in your mission to be a happier you.
Day 1 – you gave yourself a current happiness score out of 10 to see how happy you currently are.
Day 2 – you started to catch negative mind chatter going on in your head and made a note of it in your notebook.
Day 4 – you became a mind COP by realising how much time you spend thinking negatively. You are now focused on catching those negative thoughts as they come in, owning the thought and protect yourself by realising it might not be true.
Day 5 – you did the shake N vac and started to freshen your mind with gratitude.
Day 6 – you wrote a really good gratitude list that means something to you.
Wow, what a great start! Well done you 🙂
Why wait any longer to be a happier you?
If you haven’t done all the exercises, or you have just found this blog series, no problem! It is never too late to start.
Just go back on the blogs and pick up from there. You just need a notebook and pen, to read my blogs each day and dedicate a small amount of time each day to do the exercises. This is not meant to be another thing on your ‘to do list’. It is raising your awareness to things that affect your happiness and helping you train your brain to be happier.
You are not alone
If you are finding this difficult to do on your own, no problem, because I can help you. I offer 4 session packages in person in West Sussex or on Skype round the world! In 4 sessions people have significiant insights and shifts. If you have an electrical problem, you call an electrician. You probably don’t service your own car. And I doubt you do your own dental check up or eye test!
So if you need help with your mind or issues that you can’t solve alone, seek the help of a professional. Your mental health is a critical part of your wellbeing. 1 in 3 adults will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives and there is lots of help available.
Gratitude lists are talked about a lot now. But rarely are we shown how to write a meaningful one that works.
A gratitude list is a powerful thing. If you capture the things that you are grateful for and they have real meaning to you, it can help you build happiness and can be a source of comfort in difficult times.
Have a go right now!
It helps if your list has a good variety of things and you understand why you are grateful for what you have written. A bit like ‘I’m grateful for x because it means ‘y’. You might need a few goes before you get the finished article, but along the way you are thinking in a grateful way and a positive way. This is great because you are looking on the world as a good place. And the even better news is when you look for the good, it lifts you and then you see and feel better. When you have a gratitude list you are happy with, don’t stick it in a cupboard. It’s a living document with a purpose. Stick in somewhere you can see it. Carry a pretty copy on you or in the car. Have it on your phone/computer/hairdryer/xbox.
So what makes a good gratitude list?
Many people find it hard to write a gratitude list. Here are some examples to help you on your way:
Clean water available everywhere I go. Water is the most beneficial drink for my mind and body and quenches my thirst.
For being able to read so I can enjoy stories and information abundantly
For the sun shining on my face and making me feel good
For the rain that cleanses the earth and nourishes the plants and crops
The kindness of people and the kindness they show me
Trees for giving us oxygen
Wind for flying kites and wind farms
My sense of humour for seeing the funny side in most things
My honesty which makes me a trusted person
My baking skills which helps me make lovely things for people
Air for every wonderful breath
Sleep for renewing my body and making me feel rested and ready for the day
Chickens for laying eggs which make many nutritious meals
Colours which light up my life and give me pleasure
Light for bringing different dimensions to all I see
The sea where I can swim, play and fish
Animals for their cuteness, their comedy and their companionship
My wobbly tummy for giving me babies
Teachers of all sorts of lessons which have helped me grow, think differently and exercise in different ways
Music for giving my ears pleasure and firing my emotions
Food for the pleasure it gives and the nourishment it provides
Campfires for their feeling of freedom and wilderness and not forgetting smores
Touch so I feel my loved ones skin and stroke their hair
Freezer for making ice cubes and my kettle for making cups of tea
Yeast for making dough rise for bread
My voice so I can read stories to my children and make people laugh
My ears which let me hear the tone in someone’s voice which tells me how they feel and the waves crashing on the beach
My nose to smell flowers and perfume and also smells to avoid
My courage that gets me through difficult times
If you are stuck at what to put on your gratitude list consider nature, animals, the human body or people.
The highest level of gratitude is the gratitude for existence itself.
A negative can make a positive
You can get things for your gratitude list from negative situations. This is called ‘reframing’. Basically finding the positive in a negative situation. Ebay do it beautifully when they say ‘you’ve won’ the item when you’ve bought it! But ‘winning’ is a feel good word.
You can find gratitude in most ‘life lessons’ for example if you don’t like someone’s behaviour, you can be grateful that you know how to behave better or that you have the freedom to not be around them.
What’s interesting about gratitude is that it is not about comparing yourself to those less fortunate. People often fall into this trap. We will come to comparing to others in a later blog. It won’t make you feel better to have something that someone else doesn’t have. Gratitude is about noticing and being grateful for things yourself.
Here’s the plan
Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
Continue to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.
Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back by making an awesome gratitude list
Work with me
I’m a Hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner that specializes in helping people ‘reset’ in difficult times. We will work through confusion and find confidence and joy in your life. You can email me with any questions or for a free 20 minute consultation. I am on Facebook which I’m very grateful for obvs!