We all have times of difficulty in our lives. It's part of living and some say we are defined by how we choose to handle those difficulties. I used to be one of those who would go into denial in the hope that it would just go away. However, that rarely happened.
About 5 years ago, I was going through a pretty tough time. It was difficult emotionally and I felt so alone. My weight started to soar as I started eating emotionally and I felt (as a weight management counsellor) that I had to have all the answers and be so all together. Of course like many of us do, I kept my feelings hidden inside in the hope that if I didn't acknowledge them, it would be ok. However, my husband noticed I wasn't quite myself & sat down me down. I confided in him how I felt and what was going on with me and he gave me one of his pep talks. Of course he said many things which really helped but of all the things he said to me, he said 'You got this Ally' and those 3 words became my mantra for life!
The words we tell ourselves really do make an impact...
It's incredible how just 3 simple words can change your whole perspective. Those 3 words pulled me out of that hole and helped me get my power back. I was able to get my act together and over time have achieved incredible things for which I am grateful. Those 3 words made me think 'Yeah I have got this' and off I went with my cup half full ready for a new fight. Those 3 words became my own personal mantra and even now when I have moments of self doubt or self sabotage, I use them to give me a kick up the rear and get on with it. You too can use them for added strength in any situation in your life.
- Feeling doubtful about something? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Feeling that you aren't good enough or why me? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Feeling anxious about going for a promotion or a job interview? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Lacking self belief? #YOUGOTTHIS
- Finding weight loss hard and want to give up? #YOUGOTTHIS
Have you ever noticed how your mood changes based on your thinking? Your thinking can either ZAP you of your motivation OR it can give you the power to take control and achieve those goals.
Your weight loss strengthened by your thinking and the words that you choose, by your mantras and by how you talk to yourself.
Answer this for me....Who is more likely to achieve their goals. The slimmer who said 'I'll try to lose weight' or the slimmer who said ' I can and I will. Just watch me'
Words are powerful. Choose them wisely
Weight Management Counsellor - the SMLDiet
'OMG You look amazing. How did you lose it? A mum in the playground asks me. Obviously extremely happy at such a lovely compliment, I quickly and proudly say 'A VLCD plan'. Her smiley face drops and turns to a face of disgust. 'Be careful on plans like that. A friend of mine lost 5 stone and put it all back on again within 4 months of finishing'.
This was an actual scenario that I was faced with a few years ago. I quietly smiled at the mum who initially complimented me and accepted what she said about her friend who put the weight on again. I didn't tell her that I, in fact own a VLCD company and that our bodies aren't sponges (we won't immediately go and put all the weight on again the moment a piece of 'conventional' food touches our lips) AND in fact that to put 1lb of weight back on, means we have eaten 3,500 calories more than our bodies need for nutritional purposes. I suppose this mum was hoping i'd say something more conventional in terms of how I had lost the weight - personal trainer maybe? weight watchers or slimming world but I dared say the dreaded 4 letters and that was it - back in slimming exile I went.
The truth is that VLCD's have been around for over 30 years and I have worked in the VLCD industry for over 10 now. Sure I have seen people lose the weight and unfortunately put it back on again. Heck - even I've done that but I know that it isn't the issue with the diet. It's more of a 'eating more than I should' issue BUT I have also seen A LOT of slimmers successfully lose & maintain their weight after too.
When we embark on a new weight loss plan such as a VLCD, we are usually excited.
'This is it!' kind of thoughts enter our head and once we start losing weight on a VLCD, it's contagious. We want people to notice the weight loss (just to re-enforce that it's not in our heads). Lets face it, although embarrassing, it's kinda nice when someone goes WOW you look incredible. How did you do it? but like anything in life, when we put ourselves out there, we leave ourselves open to hurt, questioning or criticism.
So to tell or not to tell that is the question...
I'm an open book kinda person...
My hubby always tells me that I give too much about myself away. You ask me a question about myself or my life and ill gladly tell you no holds barred. So when I first embarked on LighterLife back in 2005, I was ready to tell the world and his wife about my diet plan. I would sit at my office desk (as I had a 9-5 council job back then) and I would sit there drinking my shakes. When the weekly cake round came out, I would sit there polishing my halo whilst everyone else guzzled their lemon drizzle cakes. I had willpower, I was determined and I wasn't scared to show it.
At first the compliments came - 'Ally, you've got such amazing willpower, I couldn't live on just shakes' - yup that's me, super Ally!
but then it turned. About 7 weeks and 2 stone in out came the 'Ally you're looking ill' even someone close to me said 'I think you have an eating disorder and should stop'
At first I chose to ignore it, how could I possibly look unwell when I was still medically classed as obese? but after a while when all you get is criticism over the diet and how you look, it's hard to keep your spirits up so of course, I start to believe them and that's when the self-sabotage kicked in (cue sad face).
The 'to tell' debate
The 'not to tell' debate...
Hopefully after reading this, you'll know one way or the other if you want to tell the world about your weight loss or keep it a secret.
I personally still love telling people when I lose weight and how I do it as I am so proud of the SMLDiet and I know if I put on abit of weight, it's because of me eating too much and enjoying the good life rather than the VLCD not working.
I am also grateful for all of our slimmers who share their VLCD journeys as they become our success stories. They are living proof for future slimmers that YES VLCD's & SMLDiet does work and can help you too!
I don't know about you but i'm a gal who likes her lists. Give me a pen & a notepad and i'll give you a list as long as my arm!
I make quite a ritual of it. Every night after the children have gone to bed, I sit down with the TV on in the background & I start to write down my aims for the next day. I also have a general 'Goal list' for the month - this is filled with details of projects i'd like to complete before the month is out.
Now. You're probably thinking 1 of 2 things. Either WOW this girl is organised OR this girl needs to get a life and I'd probably agree with you on both of those thoughts.
BUT after reading this, i'm sure you'll also agree that list keeping is a great way of staying on top of the day to day humdrum of reality.
I don't look at my lists as a 'TO-DO' list you see, that's way too demanding and almost makes me think if I don't manage to complete it, I'm going to get a telling off from my internal self. I like to think of these lists as my 'AIM-TO-DO' list (usually consisting of 3-5 main things i'd like to complete and several others that aren't the main focus. If I complete the main 3-5 items, then i'm one happy girl and I move onto the rest of the list but if for whatever reason I don't complete them, then I don't sweat over it and just move them onto the next days AIM-TO-DO list (but I give them higher priority).
There's several reasons why I like my lists and the main reasons are the
1. I, like you am extremely busy - I work full time, running a house with 2 children and am often driving here, there and everywhere doing errands & having meetings.
2. It helps keep me focused - These lists keep me in the loop. With so many things going on, it's easy to forget what I need to get, do or pick up. I often think of ideas for something like a blog post and by the time, I get home, I've forgotten about it and spend the rest of the night trying to remember what it was (don't you just hate that)?
3. Organisation is ESSENTIAL - How do you know the direction you are heading in, if you don't have a starting point? for me, starting a list is a great way of preparing, organising myself and setting myself up for future success. Any projects or ideas that SMLDiet come up with usually start on a list and the idea of them grows from being on that list. There's also nothing quite like getting to lunchtime and knowing that my list is already completed for that day.
OK Ally, that's all good & well but what's this got to do with a brand new month?
Why do you think we start new years resolutions in January? What does the start of a new year really mean for you? Why do you wait until the new year to start your new years resolutions? Well for me, I like to look at each and every month (like a lot of us do in January). It's a fresh start, it's a new month that's filled with promise and hope & renewed motivation.
A new month can give us the opportunity to create our 'Weight loss' AIM-TO-DO list & give us the chance to start again. We can see our goals through fresh eyes and think it's the beginning of something new. We can mark day 1 of the month as our starting point and use it to re-focus our mind and evaluate what we want from that month.
Do you remember when you were at school & you were given a brand new exercise book to write your work in? I used to get so excited by that part of school & every time I got a new exercise book, I pledged to keep it neat & tidy. No spelling mistakes and certainly no scruffy writing. I look at new years resolutions & January in particular as my brand new exercise book. It's my time to get excited by that promise that we'll do it right BUT because the year is so long, we get lost in the humdrum of daily life. It's hard to be 100% 'perfect' for a year! BUT a month is so much more manageable. Just 30 (odd) days, and in that month so much can be achieved. Imagine this time next month, if we were to re-visit this blog post together, you could be saying to me, I did a month on SMLDiet, I dropped that dress size and now i'm going to use that blog post to focus on another fresh new month OR you could be saying to me, 'I read the blog post but didn't look at my aims & i'm still in the same place'
Which conversation would you prefer to have?
I'm hoping that when you read about my 'Aim to-do-list' that you were inspired to create your own. Why not create your own list focusing on what you need to do to drop that dress size?
Have one as your day to day focus and have one setting your aims & goals for the month.
Ally is a qualified weight management counsellor & founder of the SMLDiet. Having worked in the weight loss industry for over 10 years, Ally has personally supported thousands of slimmers to help them release their excess weight & look at weight management as their long term goal. - www.theSMLDiet.com
The SMLDiet is a leading weight loss plan in the UK. Specialising in VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diets), TFR (Total Food Replacement products and meal replacements.