It is absolutely no secret that I can’t follow a diet! I’ve tried many different diets over the years - ten years to be exact - and found none that worked for me. If one diet appeared to achieve some results, it would only be short-lived before the pounds began to creep back on again - plus a bonus five pounds or more extra on top of the weight I was to begin with! Such an outcome would then lead me to trying another diet, often with the same outcome occurring repeatedly. It is madness now that I think back on it. The result of constant dieting was simply that it led to me adopting an unhealthy relationship with food, I would either overindulge or totally starve myself and it wasn’t until my 28th birthday that this relationship began to change.
I started to consider why I couldn’t seem to lose weight – calorie counting seemed so easy on paper and yet, there I was, unable to reap the rewards. I was fully aware that if I only ate X number of calories I’d be guaranteed to lose weight and reach my goals, but still I would overeat. Sometimes I would even eat my full calorie intake before lunch - I’m laughing as I write that, but it was something that, at the time, would make me feel like utter shit in the aftermath! If I couldn’t stick to my plan, there had to be a reason why – there is always a reason why – other than simply me being a greedy arse!
I didn’t believe the reason was that I just didn’t want it bad enough because I knew, deep down, that I really did. I hated the fact that I couldn’t succeed, and above all, I hated myself even more. So, like I do with everything, I simply began to look within myself and ask: why is this happening?
I am now 32 years old and I have never been ‘on a diet’ again since creating my own approach - The Mindset Diet.
The Mindset Diet is not the easiest of approaches as it involves digging up the emotions and the experiences you’ve been trying to push down for years; it involves taking off the protective layer you’ve smothered yourself in in order to get through everyday life; it involves removing the negative self-talk of criticising every single inch of your body; it involves changing your beliefs about yourself; and it involves being committed for a life-time, continuously working through your emotions and not simply pushing them aside.
"...I inform my clients that I will work with them outside of their training sessions and classes, helping them to become more aware of their habits and emotional responses..."
Before any of my clients sign up to work with me, I always make it clear that I don’t hand out meal plans or diet sheets as it hasn’t work for me in the past – essentially, I do not believe in recommending an approach that I am yet to witness results from. Instead, I inform my clients that I will work with them outside of their training sessions and classes, helping them to become more aware of their habits and emotional responses. This can, of course, be a very personal and private experience, so it is important that they take this on themselves outside of sessions and classes, in order to avoid any awkward or uncomfortable experiences – particularly with new clients who I am yet to build up a strong client-trainer relationship with. This also allows the session itself to be entirely about movement – clients can then decide if they wish to share or not.
With the Mindset Diet, I teach you the importance of the three bodies and the roles they play when looking to achieve your goals. Those three bodies are:
The Physical Body.
The Emotional Body.
Your Blueprint – who you truly are.
Working on the Physical Body is naturally a large part of any personal training regime, but the Emotional Body and Blueprint are also important, as they are responsible for your positive or negative reactions, often with regards to your relationship with food.
The Physical Body is the area where we focus on nutrition and how many calories you consume versus how many you burn. Being educated on these aspects is very important but it is only part of the Mindset Diet – I refer to this area as the outer layer. If we merely focus on this alone, we will tend to go off track and struggle to achieve results.
The Emotional Body is the area where we begin to understand our unhealthy relationships with foods – overeating or reaching for foodstuffs we know are bad for us. In modern society, we are conditioned to not feel, to keep on keeping on, and to continue on life’s treadmill. We are taught from a young age, particularly now in the world of social media, to act like our lives are perfect – that we don’t suffer from any sort of negative emotions and are constantly achieving success; that we don’t have down days and we show up happily every day for work and special occasions; that we fit into society and will, at all costs, avoid admitting or showing that we are struggling due to a negative experience. The modern age tells us not to deal with the emotions arising from such a negative experience, we are merely told to carry on and be strong.
"...in modern society, we are conditioned to not feel, to keep on keeping on, and to continue on life’s treadmill..."
But being strong doesn’t mean being unfeeling. It is entirely the opposite – being strong means that you allow yourself to feel. You unravel the experience that caused you pain or discomfort, and you deal with the emotions that arise from it. Doing so takes admirable strength and frees yourself from unhealthy responses – be it with food or anything else we abuse and can become addicted to, such as alcohol, drugs, social media, online shopping etc. It is always easier to deal with your emotions by numbing them with something else but, in the long run, this approach will only create more pain.
Accepting your Blueprint – or the Seed as yogis refer to it as – is incredibly important. We must truly understand our unique selves and learn to accept every inch of ourselves as we currently are. No physical transformation should make you fully accept yourself and, if it does, it is entirely ego-based and will only lead to difficulties in the future.
We must learn to love and accept ourselves as we are – when you stand in front of the mirror analysing every part of your body, do you really think that losing weight or gaining muscle will take those negative feelings away? There will always be another aspect to change, another battle to win, unless you have learned to accept and love your Blueprint. Standing in front of that mirror may have been the spark that ignited a change of direction in your life – starting to train with EAPT for example! – but why continually revisit the mirror when you have already started to take action? It could very possibly be sabotaging your results and making the whole process so much more difficult.
"...being strong doesn’t mean being unfeeling... it is entirely the opposite – being strong means that you allow yourself to feel..."
“I like that my body is changing here, but it never seems to change there, and that’s where I want it to change the most!” – sound familiar? The cycle of highlighting and obsessing over the next thing you want to change never ends and will never bring true happiness – you must learn to love and accept yourself first because, the reality is, it is not necessarily your physical form that you are hating but something negative within, and you will never achieve the results you want by falling victim to this cycle.
They say that the paradox of change is to act like you don’t need to change in order to do so, and I believe this to be true. If we stop analysing ourselves and start loving the fuck out of ourselves, our experiences, our emotions, and our looks, then we are in a far stronger position to make real change.
Ultimately, self-acceptance does not have anything to do with your body fat percentage, your weight, or how you look – accepting yourself is recognising everything about yourself, from your strengths to your flaws, and choosing to love yourself regardless.
For more information about EAPT or to book your place, call Emma on 07875 004 957 or e-mail at email@example.com