"What an inspiring forum this is! I feel honoured to be asked by Nicole to write my contribution. I feel very passionate about achieving and maintaining healthy weight for a number of reasons.
My father was a big man – in more ways than one. Yes, he was overweight but he was also a man with a big heart, loved by friends, family and work colleagues for his humour (the worst “dad jokes”!), commitment, compassion and philosophical thoughts. It was terrible to lose him at the age of 53 (WOW! that’s how old I am now!!). I feel so sad that he never got to meet my wonderful husband and my children, they would have been so close.
It wasn’t just his weight that took him at such an early age, but it was a contributing factor. His overall health wasn’t good and he struggled emotionally with the suicide of my brother just 9 months before he died. I know his death was one of the life experiences that led me to becoming a Counsellor and that motivates me daily to make my little bit to contribute to the well being of my community."
"The psychological benefits of achieving a healthy weight are enormous! There’s nothing better for your self esteem, motivation and general happiness than dropping a few kilos and slipping into that dress that hasn’t fit you for years!
Research shows that being overweight is a contributing factor to depression .... that’s not rocket science, but it certainly means that weight management is an important factor that I address in my counselling practice.
More importantly what I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of useful tools in Psychology that can help in achieving a healthy weight. There are ways in which we can use our minds to help us achieve the goals we set, rather than our minds working against us.
For example, do you believe everything you read in magazines and the newspaper, or what you hear from commercial TV? Of course not! So, why do we believe what our minds tell us, even when we know it’s not true or useful? I’m talking about thoughts like “I’ll start tomorrow”; “I’ve started off badly today so I might as well keep going”; “I might as well finish the packet”; “I have no self control”; “I’m useless”; “I’ll always be overweight – it’s in my genes”; “There’s no point”; “I hate my body”etc etc. I don’t know a way of stopping these thoughts from coming. It’s the nature of our minds that as soon as we start working towards a desirable goal that takes us out of our comfort zone the sabotaging thoughts come. The one thing we DO have control over (with a little coaching and practice) ishow to pay less attention to these thoughts so they don’t get in the way of us achieving what we want to achieve.
This (amongst other strategies) is what I have found useful in my own life and what I like to focus on when working with people who want to make beneficial changes in their lives".
"Which is why Nic and I have put our heads together to plan a 3 week group session to “get the brain wired and ready” for achieving a healthy weight. The details are coming shortly and I’m really excited about it. I love working with people in achieving worthwhile goals and living meaningful, healthy, enriched lives."