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
'If we took a holiday. Took some time to celebrate. Just one day out of life. It would be, it would be so nice'
Now holidays are supposed to be a time of fun, time to relax and unwind. Forget about all the troubles back in reality BUT what if you get so wound up thinking about your holiday, what you are going to look like, how you're going to feel on that beach that you find yourself feeling anxious? We certainly don't want that for you. So. this blog is designed for anyone who has seen those holiday snaps and ripped them up in tears (waves frantically here), this post is designed for those who is losing weight for their holidays (again waves frantically) and this post is designed for those who book their holiday only to be consumed with thoughts of 'I need to lose weight'
So. You've booked a holiday...
and if you are anything like me (or most people out there), one of the first thoughts you had was how long you had to lose weight for this holiday . Am I right?
Thought so. Whether you have 3 weeks or 3 months to go before your holidays, It's a good time to start getting organised about what you want to achieve. Ask yourself this...
How much do I want to lose?
How much time do I have to lose it?
How much can I realistically lose?
How am I going to lose it?
These 4 questions will set you up for your holiday weight loss in no time at all.
How much do I want to lose?
Lets be realistic here. If you are going on holiday in 7 days time, you aren't going to lose 5 stone. However, you need to look at how far away your holiday is. So for example, on the SMLDiet, slimmers lose (an average of) 1 stone a month. If your holiday is 8 weeks away, you could lose about 2 stone in that time on the SMLDiet. However, if your holiday is 14 days away, you could still lose a significant amount if you put your mind to it.
How much time do I have to lose it?
Usually people have a lot of time from booking their holiday to the actual departure to try and lose weight and get prepared. However, I have a friend who randomly booked a holiday and flew out with just 5 days notice (lucky her). Look closely at how much time you have to lose your weight, draw out a chart to show a countdown of days, look at your diary for any events coming up.
How much can I realistically lose?
The key word to remember here is the word realistically . Again, as I said earlier, you can't lose 14 stone in a day BUT no matter how little or much time you have, you can certainly make a difference to your weight, health and overall confidence for your holiday. It's important to set yourself goals and even rewards (not the food kind) along the way but remember - be kind to yourself. Remember: DON'T STARVE YOURSELF!!! There's no point in making yourself unwell to try and lose an unrealistic amount before your holidays.
How am I going to lose it?
Type in the word 'diet' on google and a gazillion websites will pop up all offering to be the holy grail of weight loss. There is a world of information out there to help you lose weight but how do you know that the weight loss plan you are going to follow is safe?
Do your research!
Look for reviews on the company, look at how active the company is on social media channels, look for the support the company offers, look at the about us page for more information on the company and the people behind the company.
You also need to look at how you want to lose weight. I have previously tried many diets and although weight watchers works brilliantly for some, for me I found it confusing. Other plans out there work incredibly well for some of my friends but for me? it's got to be VLCD - I love that the plan is simple to follow - 4 packs a day and i'm off.
I love the faster weight loss that a meal replacement plan gives me.
I love that all I need to do is drink a shake or eat a bar and that's it. No point counting, no weighing, measuring or worrying about going over on my calorie intake.
However, I know that VLCD's aren't for everyone either so you need to find a way of losing weight that's fine for you. So if a Total Food Replacement isn't right for you at the moment, then consider another plan (maybe 5:2), maybe calorie counting. You have to feel comfortable with what ever you choose and don't let anyone pressure you into their way of weight loss.
Ally is a qualified weight management counsellor & founder of the SMLDiet. Having been a size 22 at her heaviest, Ally works with slimmers to help them lose weight and to maintain it afterwards. For us at the SMLDiet, learning to change your relationship with food is the most important step in achieving healthy weight management and we do that with our FREE e-guides, our blogs and our booklets. For more information, please visit www.thesmldiet.com
The invite falls on your doormat and suddenly it's a mad, rush panic to lose weight and find that perfect wedding GUEST dress.
Yup, wedding season is well & truly upon us. Before you get all in a tizz, read our SOS guide to surving a wedding on and after a VLCD.
Now. The most organised of brides would be planning her wedding a year ahead of the actual big day so technically, we have quite a lot of time to get 'operation weight loss' started & to lose the weight we want before the actual big day. BUT what if you are abit of a procrastinator? what if you kept meaning to get on that diet wagon but fell off at every Mcdonalds, cream cake, bbq or Monday afternoon turning?
Don't worry - we've got your back!
3 months to go...
No need to panic just yet. In 3 months on a VLCD plan like the SMLDiet, you can easily lose 2-3 stone and that's a HUGE difference to make you feel more confident in the wedding pics, in your dress and when you're bustin some moves on the dance floor. Slimmers lose on average 1 stone a month on a VLCD plan such as the SMLDiet simple plan. So if you have 1,2 or even 4 stone to lose, now is the time to get started and really focused.
2 months to go....
Ok. So you really need to start buckling down and thinking about what you want to achieve. Is that takeaway really going to help you fit into that dress you've been eyeing up? You may think 'oh but i'll start again tomorrow' but tomorrow it'll be another takeaway, another missed opportunity to drop that dress size.
CREATE A GOAL CHART...
I recommend you drawing up a goal chart. Get those pens & pencils out and show us your inner picasso. Draw a table with boxes to represent how many days there are until that special occasion. At the end of it I.E Day 0, write down the weight or size you want to be, write down special treats you are going to give yourself for hitting milestones along the way.
Every day, look at this goal chart, cross off the days gone by so you can see how long you have left to hit that target. Write down targets that you hope to achieve so you can give yourself a challenge. So by day 21, you want to hit a weight loss of XXXlbs/kilo. Don't forget to give yourself (NON-FOOD) treats along the way. Again, it gives you something to work towards and lets face it, we all love pressies right?!
1 month to go....
1 month, that's 4 weeks (not long but long enough to make a difference still). So, at this stage we're realistically looking at a weight loss of a stone or so. However, 1 stone = 1 dress size so you can still make an impact to your weight loss and feel super slim on the dance floor. Now. If you didn't heed my warning about the 2 month mark, you really need to think about getting your slim on and getting down to work.
The simple plan is a great plan to go on to help you lose weight - it's a Total food replacement diet plan and the weight loss results are great** However, if the idea of only having soups, shakes or bars fills you with dread, then consider our Social Plan. You still have our social plan to consider. That's 3 of our meal replacements per day (enabling you to get vitamins and minerals to keep your body happy & healthy) plus a small meal from an allowed food allowance. It really is time now to keep your eyes on the prize and that prize being how you'll feel at that wedding knowing you gave it your all and dropped that dress size! #YOUGOTTHIS
7 DAYS TO GO...
I'm going to level with you. It may be too late to drop 2 dress sizes BUT slimmers have noticed significant results with our Simple plan even in just 7 days. In 7 days, you can reduce the water that's retained on your body which can leave your tummy looking flatter.
If you haven't already tried them, we have some fab appetite suppressants (which i swear by for keeping me full and stopping the snacking). They're so easy to use. you simply make them into a drink and drink it leaving you feeling fuller within 20 mins.
We also have some pineapple fat burners which again you make into a drink. They have a tropical Pineapple taste and they help speed up the rate in which your body burns fat. If you were to use these along with a low calorie diet (doesn't have to be just with our weight loss plans), then i'm confident you'll lose weight and feel better about yourself in time for the event.
The big day's finally here...
If you are on a VLCD and you attend a wedding still on your VLCD, then i take my hat off to you - that's some extra special kind of dedication there but i know what you're thinking 'What am I going to do'? don't panic - This part's for you!
Hopefully you would've had a chance to look at the menu and make your meal choices in advance. The standard staples at weddings are meat dishes which is fine as that's protein. It's when you start adding the sauces, carbs and drinkipoos that is when ketosis can go flying out the window.
If you are able to, still continue your routine as normal as possible. Consider following the social plan that day and make sure you stick to your guns! Have a shake for your breakfast as usual then when you sit down to the wedding breakfast, consider what you eat carefully. Try to avoid the following:
Breads, pastas, potatoes, alcohol (yes i know sorry), desserts, fruits.
When everyone is tucking into their desserts, why not have a snack bar or take yourself away from what's going on. Alternatively, you can sit there strong and proud polishing that halo knowing it'll all be worth it in the end.
More importantly, don't feel overwhelmed it's just 1 day and if you do decide to give the plan a break for that 1 day, ensure you are strict with yourself and get back on that diet the following day.
At the SML Diet, we regularly receive emails from our customers seeking support or guidance. Yesterday I received an email that really hit home with me.
Our customer (we'll call her client X) said
'I lost 2 stone with SML but lost interest and stopped doing it. I have tried on several occasions to get back on it but I can't get my head around it. Do you have any tips?'
The reason why this hit home is because I have been in exactly the same position as client X and this is what I found out about myself when this happened...
This usually happens to slimmers who have been on a VLCD plan before. Lets face it, the first time you embark on a VLCD plan, it's pretty amazing. You are surprised you are able to just eat sachets of powder, you feel invincible and part of an elite club (especially when people tell you 'i couldn't do that'). You see the weight coming off quickly and the compliments start coming at you. Yup it's pretty special the first time round.
However, the 2nd, 3rd or more time round it's a different mindset. Firstly, a lot of slimmers subconsciously enter this new attempt at VLCD with a 'failures mindset'. They are pretty peeved off that they are having to do a VLCD again (especially after that whole speech of 'never going to be this fat again' that they did when they did their first VLCD). So they start off their new attempt at VLCD on a negative note.
There may be subconscious anger, resentment and shame at having to be on a VLCD again, having to admit that they have put some weight back on.
It's also important to remember that no-one truly wants to be on a VLCD plan. We would much rather be losing weight by eating fruit, protein, carbs etc but that didn't work for us before because of whatever reason..
Behaviour plays a HUGE part in our ability to complete a VLCD plan. The more we try, the more we are likely to rebel. We often come into a VLCD plan thinking we are going to be deprived. That's why the night before we start, alot of us have an eat-a-thon where we want to eat foods that aren't 'allowed' on a VLCD plan. If you are starting your plan feeling deprived of food, then it just won't work for you. That mindset needs to go. The packs are a means to an end and that feeling can be changed.
Believe it or not, you are better nourished on a VLCD than you would be eating conventional food! Our packs contain at lest 25% RDA for essential vitamins and minerals and micro-nutrients, sure they look like space food but you know what? you don't need to feel deprived. VLCD's have changed so much since I did my first one back in 2005.
When I did my first VLCD, I had about 8 flavours to choose from (tops) and the bars were just gross. Nowadays, SMLDiet has crisps, high protein foods such as rice pudding, biscuits etc so you ARE eating conventional food, it's just that you are choosing to view it as anything but!
Sometimes we can't get our head back into our VLCD plan because our head is too much in the world of 'real food' and by that I mean, you are obsessed with food. Thinking about it when you wake up, planning your meals for the day (even if you aren't hungry). When we are in the world of 'real food', we just can't allow a VLCD plan to be successful for us. Then comes the behaviour of the more you try, the more you rebel, the more you feel like a failure. It becomes like that roundabout of emotions that you just can't get off.
Our thoughts are SO POWERFUL. They have the ability to help or hinder us. Ok. Lets do a mental potential exercise here. I DON'T want you to think about your lounge. Please DON'T think about your sofa, your curtains, the colour of your lounge walls. I certainly DON'T want you to imagine how your furniture is laid out.
I bet you totally thought about your lounge didn't you? well the same goes with VLCD's. If you start your VLCD feeling deprived, like you don't really want to do this, then you will more than likely start thinking about food, the taste of a certain trigger etc and before you know it, you are eating off plan.
MAKE THAT SWITCH.
Believe it or not, you have a choice whether to continue on your VLCD. Every time you start to feel hungry or it's time for another pack you can choose to go and eat food or eat your foodpack that CHOICE is yours.
However, IF and I say this with a heavy heart. IF you just can't get your head around it, then maybe the time isn't right for you to be on a full food replacement plan.
The problem with us slimmers is that we are all or nothing. We are either on Total food replacement or we've completely lost it and there's a slimmers shaped hole in the door!
We don't stop to think ok, I can start off by having 1 pack and food then gradually increase it. The great thing about Meal Replacement plans is that they can be adapted. If you don't mind about the not going into ketosis thing (which lets face it, if we can't manage a day, then we generally aren't getting into ketosis so it doesn't matter anyway), then you can really make this work for you.
I'm personally not doing a VLCD at the moment. However, I am using the packs to complement my lifestyle. So usually during the week, I have a pack for my tea as I get to sit down quite late. Then at the weekends, I don't have packs at all.
Have a think about how you could make a VLCD work for you. I'd love to know your thoughts on this
Ally is a leading weight management counsellor and the founder of the SML Diet. Over the past 9 years, Ally has personally support hundreds of clients on a 1:1 and group basis. If you would like support from the SMLDiet, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will respond. If we use your email as a support tool for others, we will not mention your name and will not feature the whole email (we will take relevant parts to help show how we can support)
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.