I have read numerous articles recently about the effect of our weight on the likelihood of getting Covid and the impact our weight might have on the effectiveness of the vaccine. These are worrying times for many of us, as well as those who have a BMI above normal. And this information adds to the stress already felt by many people who would like to lose weight.
It’s a double whammy because many overweight people struggle to lose weight AND keep it off long term. Many diet regimes can help you lose weight in the short term. But we know that within 18 months, most people regain all the weight they have lost, and more. Why? – because it’s just not easy. In fact, losing weight for the long term is very hard for most people. It is hard on so many levels.
Manufactures tempt us with adverts full of sugary or high fat processed foods. Not just occasionally, but all the time. The television and internet are packed full of food adverts showing indulgent chocolates, juicy burgers, and pizza’s dripping with cheese laden toppings. All are promising to make us feel better. But that feel good feeling does not last. It’s a sticking plaster, a short-term fix. Guilt soon steps in.
To make matters worse, we have lots of confusing diet messages. I am sure that you have seen the social media adverts stating, ‘5 foods you must NOT eat’ and ‘5 miracle foods you MUST eat’. And there are so many diet plans on offer that it becomes confusing to know which plans work and which don’t.
No wonder we feel so GUILTY!!!!
But stop right there because being tempted by sugary foods and succumbing to the temptation is not your fault.
It is our bodies job to keep us alive, and if we are not getting the nutrition that we need, our bodies will make us find food. If we eat high sugar or processed foods, we have a great sugar hit that makes us feel good. And our brains are wired to want more and more of that feel good feeling.
But diets do not overcome the problem of emotional eating. This is the stumbling block after we have lost a lot of weight. We use food for more than just fuel. We use it to cope with stress too. Emotional stress, physical stress due to dehydration, stress because we are tired, and the list goes on. A quick food fix gives us a short-term solution. It helps us to overcome the immediate problem. But it does not solve the longer-term emotional problem.
That is why I work with clients to help them find ways to beat emotional eating and enjoy nutritious, healthy foods. It is a win-win situation – people feel great about themselves and feel great because of the healthy, tasty food they eat.
To find out more about the Eat Better Naturally system, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that apparently, over 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome? That is a very high percentage. But some people would argue that everyone experiences Imposter Syndrome at some time or other. And also that it is not just women who experience it, but men as well.
Now, in my early career, I had not heard the phrase before – I did not know what it was. That’s because it was not coined until the late 1970s. It took a few more years for it to become well known. In fact, when I first hear the phrase, everyone was asking, “What is it” and “Do I have it?” and “Is this something I want?”
There are definitely disadvantages in experiencing Imposter Syndrome, but can it be our friend too?
One definition of Imposter Syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills.
So in real life, Imposter Syndrome can be the
According to Google, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term. I personally think it is a really harsh term.
A google definition of Imposter is a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain.
So, let me ask you…
Are you trying to deceive people?
Are you trying to achieve gain by being fraudulent?
No, No, No, – of course you are not. You are NOT an Imposter.
So, what’s really going on here. There is a clear feeling of self-doubt while you question your abilities. Sometimes the perfectionist in us takes over. We set unachievable goals and then beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve them. We are not Super Heroes.
We fear judgement and to be found wanting and of being discovered. We don’t help ourselves by not giving ourselves credit where it is due. Often, we hide our light under a bushel. We don’t own your success and are often self-deprecating. But sometimes, we found ourselves in a situation when we have to do something that we are not trained to do or have had little experience in.
It is so easy to forget our skills, the importance of what we have learned and to downplay our strengths.
But you can overcome Imposter Syndrome, and here are some tips to help you do that.
Recognise & Record what is going on
Recognise it, acknowledge what you are feeling. Journal it and question it.
Review your wins
Look back at your successes. Every time I read an old CV, I am pretty amazed that I am reading about myself. Did I really do that? Yes, I did, because there are no lies or exaggerations in my CV. But just like everyone reading this, I too, forget what I have achieved and how amazing it felt to do that at the time.
Reach out & Resource
Upskill or gain experience if you feel you need to. Find a tribe that can support you and remind you of your achievements and how good you are. Build case stories of your successes and keep testimonials so you can look back at them.
Recognise that it is healthy to check in with your abilities, as long as you keep it realistic. Checking in with our abilities prevents us from making massive mistakes and helps us to recognise when to reach out for help. Therefore, welcome Imposter Syndrome – make it your friend but keep it in check.
Know that you are Enough, just as you are, at this moment in your journey. But being Enough does not mean you have reached the end of your journey.
Embrace the journey of discovery and lifelong learning. Having the confidence to admit that you don’t know everything is incredibly empowering. Perfect does not exist, so overcome perfectionism.
Recognise Your Success
Own it – you’ve earned it – you deserve it.
Recognise that your successes are down to your hard work.
Don’t dismiss it.
Top Tips for picking your coach.
What area does the coach specialise in?
It could be executive coaching, life coaching, sport, nutrition, performance, industry specific, and so many more areas. And don’t forget that a coach is different from a counsellor. If your issues are deeply emotional, is long standing and has become ingrained, it could be that a counsellor is closer to what you need. Once you know what the coach specialises in, you can see if it meets your need.
You will get out what you put in.
How important is the issue for you? The reason why I ask is that just chatting to a coach is unlikely to fix your problem. You will need to do some homework. You will need time to implement the actions you have discussed and prepare for your next coaching session.
Do you connect?
Is there chemistry between you and the coach? You need to be able to say anything to your coach without feeling judged. Do you feel the coach has a deep understanding of your problem? They don’t need to have been in your situation, but they need to have empathy. Do you think you will get on with your coach? If your gut feeling is that you don’t think you can really work with this coach – then don’t.
Speak to more than one coach.
All coaches are different. Some teach a range of methods methods, such as NLP, holistic, CBT, but then add their own experience and delivery method. Make sure it feels right for you.
Ask questions about how they deliver their coaching.
Is it one to one? Do you need to have several sessions? How frequently will these happen? And of course, how much do they charge?
Do you have confidence in their abilities?
Were they recommended, are they accredited, do they have case studies they can share with you?
Don’t forget that the coach also needs to feel that they can help you. A good coach will be honest and tell you if they feel that they are not the right coach for you.
Good Luck in finding your perfect coach.
Did you know…..
The World Health Organisation defines burnout as:
“the result of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Stress is the precursor to burnout. But when stress has been going on for some time, and you have been unable to deal with it, it is not your fault. We all experience stress every day. That is normal and even healthy under the right circumstances. But the type of stress that leads to burnout has not been managed properly. That might be because your problem has not been recognised, you haven’t received the right support or, you just don’t have the right tools and resources to help yourself cope.
I remember when burnout was not acknowledged, and people were embarrassed to admit that they were struggling to cope. So, it’s great to know that larger organisations in the UK have programs to help the staff deal with the chronic stress that causes burnout.
But what if you are a small company owner or perhaps are a sole trader? Then you might not have the tools or the time to help yourself. The pressure of the bottom line might overshadow your wellbeing.
When we suffer from burnout, it shows itself in several ways. Here are just some of them;
Many things can help you to avoid burnout. But you need to adopt long term changes. The sticking plaster approach will not work for long, but it can help achieve a short term quick fix. Here are some suggestions.
SSAS - Six Steps to Avoid Stress
Do you manage a team of people? Managers of employees can make a massive impact on staff welfare and their ability to cope with stress. Recognising the signs of stress in your team and reduce the likelihood of burnout.
I noticed in the papers recently a picture of Adele having lost a significant amount of weight. First, let me say that the ideal weight is an individual thing and I do not criticise or judge anyone for the weight they choose to be. However, I am sure that Adele is feeling better because of the health benefits she will be experiencing. I congratulate Adele because it takes hard work, determination, and a commitment to self-care, to lose weight and I genuinely hope she can maintain her new weight.
And there is the crunch – for many of us who lose weight, keeping weight off is the biggest challenge. That’s why dieting doesn’t work. To clarify that statement, diets do not work in the long term. Many of us experience weight loss which is followed by weight gain. It might be 3 months later or 6 months later, but for many of us something happens to send us running back to our old eating habits. Sounds familiar? I too have been in that camp many times, until I understood what really needed to change in order to keep weight off. I believe it takes four things and eating the right foods is only one of those.
It takes self-care and self-love.
It takes a long-term change in our approach to food.
It takes the ability to listen to what our bodies are telling us.
Poor eating habits can often mask other issues that we have. We use food as a comfort blanket during difficult times, from serious stress down to the stress of boredom or tiredness. Dealing with the root problem of anxiety, boredom or whatever it is that makes you turn to food for support is THE long-term fix for maintaining healthy eating.
Understanding the role that food plays for us in our lives vitally important. How we can use it to our advantage or disadvantage and what is really going on with our self-esteem.
Did you know that it can take 9 months to change a long-term habit? Our poor eating habits are usually long-term habits. So, changing them takes commitment. This is one of the reasons why diets don’t work in the long term. It is so easy to think that we can adopt new healthy eating habits over a couple of weeks. The truth is, it takes a lot longer.
Our bodies are our best friends. Say hello to your new best friend. A best friend only wants the best for you, to help you and support you. Our body wants the very best for us. We are built to keep ourselves as healthy as possible. Let’s face it, our bodies are amazing – they self-heal when we cut ourselves and they rebalance the sugar in our bodies to protect our organs. Our bodies tell us when we are full and how much to eat. Many of us have forgotten how to listen to our bodies and have become used to the supersizing of portions. Bigger plates, bigger glasses, bigger portion size. But our poor bodies can still only deal with so much. Our bodies will seek out the nutrients in the food we eat and let us know when we have had enough. But some of us have forgotten how to listen to that.
The Feel Better Naturally Nutritional Coaching teaches you;
Personal resilience requires a sense of self-worth, self-esteem and self-belief. It requires a good support network from those who are understanding. It needs the ability to cope with change – each day is different in lockdown. Every day we feel different, and every day can throw the unexpected at us.
Self-esteem comes from an understanding of who we are. It also comes from an acceptance of ourselves, just the way we are right now. We are perfect in our imperfection. Give yourself permission to fail but at the same time, be accountable for that decision.
A good support network is essential during lockdown. We are social animals, and a lack of social interaction has a massive impact on mental health, our wellbeing, our eating and drinking habits and on our physical wellbeing. Both extroverts and introverts need to be in touch with people for work and social purposes.
Give and Take
There is joy in making someone else happy. That might mean ensuring someone else has time for themselves, giving an act of kindness, or spending time with someone in need of company (in person or remotely). Not only will they feel happier, but you will feel happier too. Spend time with people who make you feel better and avoid toxic people who make you feel bad about yourself or bring out the worst in you.
Let It Go
When many aspects of our lives are beyond our control due to lockdown restrictions, it is common to exert more control in other areas of our life. Decide what is really important to have control over and be more relaxed about the things that are not. Take a deep breath and let it go. It will help to keep things in perspective.
TOP LOCKDOWN SURVIVAL TIPS
Did you make some New Year’s Resolution for 2021? Are you keeping to them so far? Do you choose something different every year, or is it the same New Year’s Resolution every year? Does it feel a bit like Ground Hog Day? And do you achieve your goal or see your New Year’s Resolution through to the end of the year? Did you know that most people set a new year’s resolution and fail to keep to it?
Polls run for Bupa and YouGov show that 32% of Britons make a New Year resolution and guess what. Losing weight and getting fitter are the top priorities.
For years, no actually, for decades, I had the same two New Year’s resolutions. And yes, you’ve guessed it. They were;
When it comes to diet and nutrition, people want a miracle cure and ask too much of themselves. They either try to make too many changes or make changes that are too big. And so, we set ourselves up to fail. Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice, and it starts with small changes and no dieting. When I stopped concentrating on diet food, I started to lose weight.
Since 2008, my new year’s resolution has been To Be Kinder to myself. And when I am kinder to myself, I forgive myself when I am not perfect, or do not make the ideal food choices. I also find that by being kinder to myself, I am also kinder to others. Oh yes, and I am several stone lighter too.
How did you cope with lockdown #1?
This series of daily podcasts throughout lockdown #2 aims to help you cope better with the unique pressures placed upon us in these current times.
Full of hints and tips, I will cover a variety of topics from work, your life and diet and nutrition to help you secure your success, become your best self and feel better naturally.
Available on Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Anchor and Spotify. Here is the spotify link. I hope you enjoy.
An overwhelming desire to help others, coupled with her own serious health scare, has led to a Somerset woman launching her own coaching business to help organisations and individuals reach their full potential.
Jane Phillips who lives in Wellington, Somerset has set up Jane Phillips Coaching and Feel Better Naturally to offer both coaching and mentoring support to help people get more out of life and to both set and achieve their goals.
A trained nutritionist, as well as an experienced life and executive coach, Jane and her team offer a wide range of courses, from business planning, motivation coaching to stress workshops, wellbeing checks and relaxation techniques.
“Major heart surgery in 1990 made me reassess my life and I felt the need to make a difference. I took a career break when my son was born and then worked as a slimming consultant as I had always been interested in nutrition and had struggled with my own weight issues,” said Jane.
“From there I trained as a reflexologist then moved into the charity sector, working as a fundraiser for various charities before becoming a fundraising consultant, helping with strategies and bid-writing and eventually evolving into Jane Phillips Consulting,” she explained.
Jane, who is married with one son, is adamant that to be truly successful – and happy – a balance must be struck between the body, the brain and nutrition going hand-in-hand.
Through her work, she aims to help people navigate unwelcome changes and discover long-term holistic solutions through a combination of mentoring and executive coaching.
“I believe that you cannot be happy with your work if you are unhappy with yourself and you cannot be happy with yourself if you are unhappy with work.
“I want to give people the clarity to make the right decisions and to find their own, individually-tailored, long-term solutions so they can feel better naturally and succeed,” Jane said.
With the ongoing pandemic, Jane is offering her services virtually via Zoom, while her website https://www.janephillipscoaching.co.uk/ and Facebook page features blogs and podcasts, as well as information about strategic planning, financial sustainability, training courses and mentoring services.
Jane is also offering a free, initial 30-minute consultation to help you start the journey towards a happier and more successful future.
Recently I (and my dog Belle) drove from Devon to Tintern Abbey to meet and spend the day with a couple of friends. Despite the trials of the M5, the journey went fairly smoothly. But two things happened that started me thinking about my lovely clients and their beneficiaries.
The first thought occurred to me as I saw the roadworks sign that read: Await Rescue – Free Recovery. I have helped many different people via the charities and social enterprises I have supported. They range from homeless people, older people, those with debt problems, children with special needs, those isolated and those lonely. And whilst these issues are very different, for the vast majority of the beneficiaries they have reached the point in their lives where they have done all they can to help themselves and now they need someone or some organisation to help to ‘Rescue’ them. And by in large that help is Free or greatly reduced in cost.
The next thing that happened on my journey was that shortly after reading the sign, whilst still driving through the roadworks, an HGV passed me and then abruptly pulled into the inside lane in front of me. The load on his lorry teetered back and forth precariously, I held my breath until it recovered its balance. Within seconds it pulled out again, the load swayed, it overtook the next vehicle and pulled in again, the load wobbled, teetered and as I held my breath for a second time, finally settled. The driver repeated this again and again, weaving through the narrow lanes of the roadworks, each time on the verge of causing chaos. Having done a lot of motorway driving I am pretty thick-skinned, but this driving caused me to cry out in alarm.
I thought about the traffic and how our lives were like it. We pass through life, usually gently with few ripples, going up or down a gear as needed, avoiding obstacles in our way without causing too much distress to other people. But sometimes our journey through life is more chaotic, more precarious and challenges affect us and our loved ones dramatically. Sometimes we are that HGV driver.
The charities and social enterprises I work with make a clear difference to those they aim to help through the support they offer. Many charities and social enterprises are very good at celebrating and communicating the difference they make, using impact reports based on recording and measuring. But others find it harder to do so because time and resource make it too difficult to capture that information.
Being once removed from the immediate beneficiaries, I have started to think about the impact we make to client’s beneficiaries. Over my career I have raised a huge amount for charities both nationally and in the South West, but it is about so much more than numbers. It is about the difference Jane Phillips Coaching makes and the changes we bring about and how we engage with people to make that happen.
There is an increasing need for organisations to have a Theory of Change Model that explains not just the changes they bring about but also the precursors that enable them to do that. A Theory of Change model starts with the end result achieved by a project and works backwards to explain what needs to be put in place to make that happen. It helps to work out what has been termed as the ‘missing middle’ – the ‘how’ bit between what an organisation does and the result it achieves.
An increasing number of funders are asking charities and social enterprises to develop a Theory of Change model. Whilst I have developed a Theory of Change with some clients, I have not developed one for Jane Phillips Coaching Ltd. So shall be developing my Theory of Change model shortly and I look forward to sharing it with you in a future blog.
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