Client J – Weight Loss
J is one of the lucky ones in some respects. She is not a life-long serial dieter but middle-age and less exercise due to a sporting injury had led to a gradual two stone weight gain. She had been on one major diet (weight watchers) which had worked well but over time had regained the weight. She had been however, a life long devotee of junky carbohydrate foods which the weight watchers regime had not addressed as it allowed her to indulge her cravings.
After an initial consultation with J, who is interested in the science behind weight issues, I gave her a book to read, – The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes. This is quite a heavy going, science based read and perhaps not for the faint-hearted but it persuaded her that she should radically overhaul what she ate.
The stone age diet which is comprised largely of protein, fruit and vegetables, cured her of her cravings and delivered immediate benefits that have meant she has been able to stick to the diet very easily. She was helped by the fact that she immediately noticed health improvements – no more dark under eye circles, no chocolate cravings, less hunger, no junk food cravings and increased energy. She also gradually lost a stone that she has kept off for over a year.
I think there were two major changes for J. The main one was in the area of her eating habits. She now has breakfast (porridge) which she had not previously eaten, and salad with protein rather than a sandwich for lunch, fruit for snacks and protein, salad and vegetables for dinner.
She found that eating “stone age” balanced out her blood sugar and therefore her moods so she was not tempted by carbs. She did not have to fight temptation with will power as the craving vanished. More than a year on, she now eats the occasional pudding or flapjack but still largely steers clear of bread, flour and potatoes.
For J, what she was eating had a big impact on how and why she ate. She illustrates the point that an intervention in any of the four ways we maintain our problems is effective.
Client C – Ditching the Diet
C is a yo-yo dieter who has had enough. She came to me because she had regained the weight she had painfully lost 3 years earlier and she was thoroughly sick of dieting and obsessing over food.. As she has a very active and food focused social life with her husband she had found the prospect of diets very depressing.
Caroline has had a mix of coaching, EFT and NLP hypnotic techniques and she is still in the weight loss process. There have been some radical changes in her eating habits. She has got beyond a life-long sugar addiction and with that came a great reduction in the frequency of her migraines. Something she has suffered from all her life.
She has given up snacking and her general obsession with food and it is now less central in her life.
She has also changed her life-long habit of automatic and largely unnoticed eating whenever an anxious thought crossed her mind. This has been a huge change as much of this type of eating had been unconscious.
She has identified where her attitude to food has been sabotaging her efforts to lose weight. A key thing for C was to break the link she had made between seeing any food based event as a celebration and therefore a reason to over-eat. In her life this meant over-eating several days a week. She has had to disentangle “friends” and “feasting”. This has not been easy but she is making progress.
Weight loss is happening very gradually and C is still struggling with portion size to some extent. As she is changing some life-long habits C’s progress has been bumpy. She has found some things remarkably easy whereas areas like portion control have been harder to tackle. Giving up dieting is a big step and can take time.
Client N – Personal Style linked to weight issues
N came to me after I overheard her say that she didn’t know what to wear any more.
After losing and gaining weight a few times she was then heavier than she liked to be and I noticed that she was hiding herself in shapeless clothes. As N firmly believed in a non-diet approach to weight loss already, she was more interested in sorting out her self-image than weight loss.
N is a very creative person who wanted a unique, non-high street look. She makes her own jewellery and really dislikes looking like any one else. The problem she had was that she tended to buy things that were different whether they suited her or not. She was wearing boxy, unstructured clothes that she felt went with her slightly Bohemian image and life-style. In fact she was adding pounds by hiding her shapely body and obscuring some of her assets such as a fabulously creamy and unlined décolletage. Many of these clothes were black which over-whelmed her pale creamy complexion, light blue eyes and blond curly hair, or beige which washed her out and provided no contrast to enable her face to pop out. She looked fabulous in blue but this colour was severely under represented in her wardrobe.
We sorted N’s wardrobe, weeding out the simply unflattering in her existing wardrobe. In front of a mirror I was able to show N how the shaped clothes suited her better and took pounds off her frame. We went shopping for some versatile separates – N’s work requires an approachable look – which she could then customise with her own jewellery plus scarves and bags. N is lucky in that she can create her own unique look with her own craft work. All she needed was the confidence to buy colours and good basic shapes that she could dress up in different ways. A good stock of unusual accessories is very useful for creative folks who like to look different and much easier to find than unusual but also flattering garments.