Are You A Weight Cycling Dieter?

weight cycling dieter

The term yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, affects many women. Athletes who are forced to change their weight or appearance for the sake of sport (fitness competitions, ballet, gymnastics) are considered weight cyclers, because their weight fluctuates up and down.

More commonly social media uses the term yo-yo dieters. The term yo-yo dieters describes people who attempt to lose weight, but fail to maintain their new low weight, and eventually gain the weight back again. For the purpose of this article, we will use the term ‘weight cycle dieting’ instead of ‘yo-yo dieting.’

Cycles of weight loss + weight gain

Weight cyclers may experience long periods (a few years) where their low weight is sustained, however, for a variety of psychological, emotional and physiological reasons they eventually return to their set weight. People who ‘weight cycle diet’ may actually end up gaining more weight than they originally started with. Many women struggle with weight cycling diets, particularly if they are not given correct information about sustainable and long term weight loss. Fad diets or extreme dieting for short periods of time will also result in the weight dieting cycle.

Unhelpful eating habits + feeling worthless

Feelings of worthlessness, failure and sadness may occur for those who struggle with chronic dieting and weight gain. The development of disordered eating patterns is also a common consequence of weight cycling diets. People with unhelpful eating habits often feel numb during large consumption episodes. If this sounds like you, and you are frustrated and feel trapped in a cycle of weight cycling diets and want healthy long term weight loss, I can help you.

Weight cycling diet symptoms

If you say yes to any of the statements below, this may indicate you are struggling with weight cycling issues.

  • I am overweight and trying to lose weight in a healthy manner
  • My efforts to lose weight end up in failure
  • I am able to keep weight off for a short time, but eventually I gain it all back
  • I have been dieting for a long time
  • I feel I am worthless
  • There are times where I eat massive amounts of food all at once
  • I eat in secret as I am ashamed of people watching me consume food
  • I feel I am not in control over what I eat
  • I feel trapped in an endless cycle of weight gain and weight loss
  • I often feel depressed and sad

What happens to my body during weight-cycling?

‘Weight cycle dieting’ is very common and occurs due to physiological changes in the body, poor weight loss information and low self- efficacy.

When you severely reduce the amount of food you consume, a ton of changes occur in your body. If you are eating less food, and perhaps avoiding carbs, the brain starts to believe food is scarce and shifts into starvation mode.

Do you often end up sabotaging your diet plan?

At this point your body works against your program and desire to burn fat. Your thyroid function slows, resulting in a slow and sluggish metabolism. Hormones that promotes leakage of fat from fat cells, start to drop so your body can conserve your fat stores.

Your brain also tells your body to conserve energy by moving less, as a result of your lowered metabolism. Weight loss slows, frustration, anger and boredom take over, and hunger promoted by brain chemistry drives you to eat.

Most people then overeat because they feel they have been depriving themselves. Over eating is common, and the satisfaction and delight of eating junk food again can move you to trance like state of bliss. Once again brain chemistry is hooking you back into the comfort of eating.

When you put weight back on, do you put it all on and more?

Weight gain is rapid due to your low metabolism following the dieting period. Your net result is being heavier than before you started the diet. You probably feel like a failure, have engaged in high levels of self-loathing and feel trapped in a weight loss and weight gain cycle.

What do you suggest as my next step to stop weight cycle dieting?

Send me a message and we can discuss how weekly confidential coaching calls can help. With an extensive background in functional nutrition, life coaching and CBT-Fitness (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). I am here to use all the education I have learned and apply it personally to your weight cycling issues.

 

You Are Not Your Depression

depression help

Let’s be honest… It’s more than just being blue.

It is a New Year, but I don’t feel any different. You might be thinking, “I don’t want to set goals – I can’t even stick to something for a few hours.” I am sick of all the New Year, New You quotes flooding social media. If you resonate, keep reading. 

After the year that we had, it might be that you feel depressed, (like many women I have worked with last year). You are not alone. Everyone at some point has felt down. It’s only natural to feel this way after a difficult or stressful life experience (or year for that matter). 

But depression is more than just being sad. It’s like a thick fog that disrupts your thinking, emotions and behaviours and distorts your perception of yourself and the world around you. Depression is experienced differently by different people. Sometimes, it can emerge from a mix of issues or experiences, but sometimes there’s no obvious reason. Depression can have tragic outcomes to your health and fitness – without proper help. 

But there is good news! Together, there is plenty we can do to manage your depression. Remember the fog can clear. And I am here to show you how. 

What you might not know about depression:

  1. Roughly 1 in 10 people will experience depression over the course of their life.
  2. Women are twice as likely to develop depression
  3. Over half of people diagnosed with depression also suffer from anxiety
  4. Physical exercise has been found to have a great antidepressant effect

What Does Depression Look Like?

To take on and beat depression, you have to know what it looks like. Not one case of depression is the same as someone else’s. However, depression will usually include a some of the following symptoms, over an extended period of time.

  • Feelings of emptiness, worthlessness & hopelessness or feeling numb inside.
  • Loss of energy, constantly feeling tired.
  • Oversleeping or not sleeping enough.
  • Overeating or loss of appetite.
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Difficulty concentrating/focusing

Reflection Time:

Detached from other people
When did you last feel truly connected to other people?

Detached from meaningful work
Do you enjoy your job? Does it give you some sense of control and purpose?

Detached from meaningful values
Do you know what gives your life meaning beyond the materialistic and superficial?
Do you live in alignment with this?

Detached from nature
When did you last feel truly connected to nature & your natural environment?

Detached from past hurt
Have you confronted and unpacked your past trauma/difficult/stressful moments?

Detached from a hopeful future
Do you feel like you have the ability to impact your future in a positive way?

Detached from status & respect
Do you exist in a space where you feel respected and have the power to influence outcomes?

How to Manage Depression?

Get out of your head and into your body. 

Exercising, listening to music, connecting with nature and being outdoors in sunlight can help to improve mood – yes even in the winter! Experiences that help us connect with our body in a positive and relaxing way such as yoga, massage and dance have also been shown to be effective in changing mood states. (It doesn’t have to be all about “weight training.”)

Connect and talk.

Spend time with people who support and understand you and make you reconnect with feelings of hope. This could be friends, family or myself as your mentor and coach.

Looking For a Depression Solution That is Personal + Private?

I am here to help you combat depression using a range of evidence-based approaches, including mood enhancing nutrition and exercise programming, and positive – strength based coaching using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). If you are ready, please send me a message and we can start your Private Coaching – let this be the year that YOU choose YOURSELF!

2021 The Year We Rise Above Instagram!

As we lead into a new year, I thought I would take a minute to share with you 5 words that I will be focusing on in 2021 when it comes to Instagram!

  1. Boundaries
  2. Commitment
  3. Honesty
  4. Organization
  5. Self-Kindness

From all areas of my life: personal and professional, I am not immune to feeling guilt, shame, fear and unworthiness. It happens from time-to-time. But what do I feel is the culprit for these unsettling feelings this past year? (Ok maybe the last 5 years)… Instagram! There, I said it! Boy does that feel good to get off my chest! I am not sure if you, or someone you know feels the same way… but isn’t it time that we no longer allow an app to take away so much joy and happiness?

When I wrote down what gives me joy, happiness and contentment – Instagram did not make the cut!

When I asked myself, “why do I use Instagram?” here were some of my answers…

  • I feel I have to (as a business owner)
  • To feel connection
  • To express myself

Embarrassingly, I also use it to:

  • To compare myself to others (for many years I compared my body to other accounts)
  • To look at what other people are up to
  • To relieve tension, and anxiety (although it just caused more!)
  • To relieve boredom
  • To “fit-in”

Reflecting on my answers,  I have decided take back my personal power, by honouring my 5 words when using Instagram.

Boundaries:

  • Turn off the comment section of my posts (This is so that I do not feel compelled to open the app and respond right away). I will turn it back on, just not right now.
  • I will NO LONGER swipe away unconsciously on my feed and browse as means of coping or avoiding.

Commitment: 

  • I will use my knowledge and education to inspire you OFF social media – through blog posts, my new Weekly Accountability Membership, and 1-to-1 coaching services.
  • I will spend more time writing material that I own the rights to (I will no longer provide Facebook or Instagram with my best writing)
  • I will show up for you and support you – OFF social media! I feel compelled to go back in time and live life how it used to be: long before apps took over our day-to-day productivity!

Honesty:

  • I will no longer hold back what I believe needs to be talked about.
  • I will say no to things that do not serve my purpose.

Organization:

  • I will plan out the time that I spend on social media – with purpose.

Self-Kindness:

  • I will honour both of OUR needs and make OUR health and wellness a priority – which means building an OFF-LINE connection!
  • I will no longer judge my accomplishments based on what an app dictates is a success!

The 5 words above will make all the difference in how I will choose to live out 2021. Will they help you?

Grant yourself the strength to accept what you cannot control, the courage to change what you can, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that we can build a strong PERSONAL bond, and change the way we use social media in 2021!

My One Wish This Christmas…

Christmas Fitness

My one wish for Christmas, is for you to let go of what you think a fitness transformation is supposed to be and embrace the one you are on… by listening to your HEART.

(Post is dedicated to J.T. Bibby)

I originally told myself that I would be taking the day off… It’s Christmas and only 4:30am. With no responsibilities today, I gave myself an all-access pass to relax and sleep in. Since that didn’t happen, I began my morning with a coffee, and read my Grandfather’s journal. (I received them last night from my Mum as a Christmas gift). For those that do not know me very well, my Grandfather past three years ago at the age of 96. He was my best friend. Today, he spoke to me, just like he did each and every day he was alive. He spoke to me through his journal entry, talking about the hearts anatomy and physiology.

I see it now Grandad, how you used the heart as a metaphor for life. I want to share what I believe my Grandad was talking about back in 1949 and apply it to my love for health and fitness.

Here it goes:

You have a heart that is currently thumping away, beating to its own drum. (Pause for a moment and place your palm against your chest – feeling your beautiful unique heartbeat). Right now, your heart holds a set of lyrics, waiting to be sung. Right now, your heart has built walls, so that you can be brave. It wants you to show up with bravery, so you allow others to be brave as well.

Your heart makes you authentic. Trading in your heart for a replica of someone else’s may induce anxiety, depression, disordered eating, addiction, rage, blame and resentment. Sacrificing your own beating heart for the sake of what you think you should “look like” just isn’t worth it.

Being true to your HEART is the best gift you can give yourself, and the people you love. When you no longer try to be perfect from head to toe, embodying thinness, kindness and modesty to everyone, you will have more time, attention, love and connection for the IMPORTANT people in your life.

Allow your heart to guide your health and fitness goals. Allow your heart to pump authenticity and bravery into your day. Go against the grain of “fitness culture” and put heart at the forefront of your day.

This Christmas, ask your heart:

  1. Who do I become when I feel my fitness goals are threatened? Who do I become when I feel backed into a corner of shame, guilt and sabotage?
  2. How do I protect myself?
  3. Who do I call to help get me through my mess and turmoil?
  4. What is the bravest thing I could do for myself when I feel like giving up?

The Truth:

Your heart is not meant for the fly-by night fitness transformation coaches that are popping up on social media left, right and centre… promising the world. (Your heart knows better – listen to it).  Your heart is first and foremost meant FOR YOU! To allow your heart to be trusted with a coach should NEVER be taken lightly. It is a privilege, for that coach.

Ask yourself before you hire or seek out any coach in 2021…

Do I believe they have earned the right to hear my heart’s story?

You do not need an army to protect and serve your heart. You do not need social media gratification or shout outs from your coach (that is only to boost their heart’s ego – not yours). Your heart deserves more – way more than what you have been giving it. Honour your heart – honour your health – honour your life.

I hope that in time, your heart begins to trust me. That I earned the right to hear your story, and help you fulfill your hearts unique health and fitness desires in 2021.

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours.

Jill Bunny

 

 

Exception Reflection Activity

As we gear up for a New Year, I wanted to share an exercise that I use with 1-to-1 clients. But before we dive into the “Exception Reflection Activity” I wanted to disclose what my coaching style is all about!

 

I believe that in order for many women (including myself) to achieve sustainable results, we must shift the focus from what is wrong to what is right with our fitness transformation and from what is not working to what is working.

 

I specialize in ‘Positive CBT-Fitness’ which aims to improve women’s health and well-being by emphasizing and exploring exceptions to the problem as opposed to the problem itself.

 

Self-monitoring of your problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in coaching sessions is a classic technique that many coaches utilize. This technique allows you to gain a more accurate understanding of the problem and the context in which it occurs, as opposed to relying on recall.

 

From my perspective of positive CBT-Fitness coaching, self-monitoring in this way only encourages you to develop a narrow focus on “the problem.” Subsequently, you may miss the opportunity to observe and learn anything else.

 

With Positive CBT-Fitness, self-monitoring is not about your problems or symptoms, but about your strengths and exceptions to the problem. This approach enables you to learn more about yourself as well as about what works and what is going well for you, which you can then use and apply to change your situation for the better.

 
The tool you can now download is based on the concept of positive self-monitoring.

I invite you to keep an ‘exceptions reflection journal’ to begin to document and thus focus on when the problem does not occur and why.

 

If you are a 1-to-1 client, then please send over your filled in PDF worksheet – and we will discuss on our next call.

If you have filled it out, and would like to work 1-to-1 together, send me a message, and we will discuss an option that will fit your goals and budget.

 

The Mental Health Benefits of Working Out

mental heath fitness coach

Working out is beneficial for your physical health, but research shows it can also improve your mental health. People that regularly work out report several benefits of exercise such as feeling less stressed and anxious, being more self confident and happier.

Your mind and body are very closely linked, and exercising can not only make you feel physically stronger but can mentally keep your mind healthy.

Benefits of Working Out

Release of Endorphins:

Exercising makes us feel good due to neurochemicals, known as endorphins, that are released in our body. Endorphins are known as natural pain relievers that can reduce pain and boost pleasure, and increase feelings of well-being contributing to many mental health benefits.

Stress Relief:

Endorphins are crucial in reducing stress levels in our body, and so working out is a great way of de-stressing. Staying active will help your body relax and relieve any tension from your muscles.  This mean you are more likely to have a better quality sleep and diet, feel overall happier and be more productive throughout the day.

Try this:  After a work out session, spend a good amount of time stretching out your body, as stress may cause muscle tension especially around your neck and shoulders.

Alleviates Anxiety:

Following a regular workout routine can be a natural and efficient way to treat anxiety. The endorphins released in your body when you are exercising relieve tension and boost feelings of well being including greater physical and mental energy.

Try this:  While working out, try focusing on different bodily sensations rather than zoning out. By doing this, you will enable yourself to be more mindful and appreciate the feelings that you are experiencing when you are working out. This way you will be able to disconnect from your continuous worries and be fully present.

Reduced Symptoms of Depression: 

Research shows that regular exercise can reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Exercise promotes changes in your brain; neural growth, reduced inflammation, and the formation of new activity patterns that make you feel calm and relaxed.

It promotes feelings of wellbeing due to the release of endorphins and other neurochemicals that make you feel well, and distract you from negative thoughts. You might even experience “runners’ high. Interestingly, studies suggest that exercise is as effective as antidepressants on alleviating the signs of mild to moderate depression.

Try this:  It is important that you have an workout schedule you are comfortable with so you can maintain it, as it will prevent you from relapsing.

Self–Confidence:

When you are consistently following your workout routine, it allows you to feel a sense of achievement.  If you are struggling with low self-confidence and self-esteem exercise can have a positive impact on your self-confidence, as your physical strength and body improve.

Try this: Workout for 20-30 minutes regularly and pick an activity you enjoy so you are more likely to continue working out.

Book a free discovery call, I am here to listen to your story and explain how my services can support you.

Let me help you feel better.

Finally, A Weight-Loss Coaching Method That Works!

weight loss coach oakville

Have you ever been through swings of weight loss, where you feel good and positive about yourself, and weight gain, where you feel bad, ashamed and hopeless that you will ever lose weight and keep it off?

My weight loss coaching is something many women are looking for as they feel they have been living a life of continuous yo-yo dieting. They want to break the vicious cycle of dieting and overeating, restriction and bingeing.

My weight loss coaching puts your weight front and centre of your transformation. Your eating may well be connected to other issues in your life, but it is so important to listen and understand how you feel about your weight.

  • What’s it like to be the size you are?
  • When do you feel out of control of your eating?
  • How do you feel after a binge and you realize you have gained weight?

All these questions are important, as you live with your weight every day.

As your coach, I have a vast range of tools, skills and tips I can share with you to help you feel more in control of your eating. As you reduce the frequency and intensity of your eating, your distress will reduce and we can can start to explore what is behind your eating behaviour.

Emotional eating, stress eating, comfort eating, compulsive eating – whatever your description, it is important to change your thinking, feelings and behaviour around your weight, eating and body image. Weight loss counselling offers you the space to do this. Together we will build a roadmap to help you rebalance the way you eat and the way you feel about your weight.

How To Spot Fake Fitness News

fake fitness news

Have you found yourself overwhelmed and confused at all the health news floating around on social media? Are you worried you are getting fake news? If you are, you are not alone. Everyday there are more and more articles on the latest “health research.” With so much advice being spread around, it can be hard to distinguish the real truth. One study might claim that eating carbohydrates are good for your health, the next study might claim carbohydrates should be avoided. But how do you know who to trust?

here are a few tips to help you avoid poorly reported health news.

1. What is the Source?

Are you reading your health news from a scientific website, a news reporter, or a health and fitness magazine? The news reporter can be a strong indicator of an article’s legitimacy. For example, scientific websites or journals are more likely to report accurately than popular health and fitness magazines. When it comes to nutrition related online news, WebMDThe Mayo Clinic, and Science Direct are top tier sources of reliable research and information.

2. Read the Article! Not Just the Headlines!

This simple, yet easy advice will help you keep educated. In order to know if the news is real or fake, you will need to read beyond headlines. Headlines are created to entice a reader and are limited in the amount of information they can share. If you do not take the time to understand what the content of the news says, you may be misled by fun and eye-catching titles. When it comes to nutrition and health, headlines are used to simplify larger and more complex issues. It is very common for specific scientific terminology to be generalized. although it is helpful because it allows us to make the decisions regarding which articles to read in full, it can also be very misleading.

3. Did The Test Include Humans?

Very often studies related to nutrition, fitness and health are first conducted without humans! In order to find data for on a specific topic, scientists and researchers will have to control of outside variables that might confuse their research. How do scientists do this? They often use lab rats to test theories. This research is still important and can be very exciting, but we must not forget that humans can behave and react differently.

4. What Was the Purpose of the Study?

Scientific research is often focused on a very specific purpose. Beware of headlines or articles that make broad statements about nutrition, health or fitness. A study focusing on the behaviour of a specific hunger hormone could easily be misrepresented and turned into the newest “fad diet.” Information like this may not be a good source for true health tips or advice.

5. How Many People Were in the Study?

In scientific research the more the merrier. When studies only use a small sample size or a number of people or animals being observed, they are more likely to get misinformed data. Some news articles will report findings on a sample of fewer than 25 people. Studies such as these might not have accurate data and their conclusions may not be the truth. A small sample size may have an outlier that can skew the data towards a false and fake conclusion.

Hopefully, these tips will help you next time you see an article online. If you are still feeling confused about your health and fitness I am here to help educate you and share my knowledge.

Get Control Over Food With The Regular Eating Method

dieting

When wanting to make changes to your eating habits, the best advice I can give is to start with “The Regular Eating Method.” This is the most significant change you can make when it comes to tackling the unhelpful eating habits you want to kick to the curb.

Over 30 years of research in the field of food psychology concludes that introducing patterns of regular eating will help diminish unwanted eating habits. To get started on “The Regular Eating Method” follow the guidelines below:

Plan Ahead

At the beginning of each day (or the night before) plan in advance when you are going to eat your meals and snacks. If you are working with me 1-to-1 we can use your monitoring worksheet.

At all points in the day you should be aware of when you are going to have your meals and snacks. There will be times where your day will be unpredictable. When this happens, plan ahead as far as you can.

Adopt The “No Choice” Phrase

No Choice, eat each of your planned meals and snacks and nothing in between.

Do your best not to skip any of your meals and snacks or add in extra nibbles when not planned. Try to break long periods of time into more manageable chunks of no longer than 3 to 4 hours. This will help with reducing unplanned eating or giving into those pesky cravings.

Make Your Plan Should Be More Flexible Than Rigid

It’s important that you adjust times of your meals and snacks to suit your day to day schedule. However, do try to establish as regular a pattern as possible.

Do Not Leave More Than 4 Hours Between Meals and Snacks

Long gaps between mealtimes create psychological and physiological pressure to eat that can eventually throw you right off track. Therefore, it would be wise to eat at regular intervals, with a 4-hour gap being the maximum.

 

Review

Now that we have the guidelines set, how can we monitor progress with implementation of The Regular Eating Method?

Each week ask yourself the following questions:

  • Each day, am I planning regular meals and snacks?
  • Am I trying to stick to the set plan?
  • Am I skipping any of the meals and snacks?
  • Are there gaps between my meals and snacks longer than 4 hours?
  • Am I eating between my meals and snacks?
  • Am I getting back on track when things don’t go to plan?
  • Am I adjusting the timing of my meals and snacks to accommodate events and circumstances?

Most people that start The Regular Eating Method will spend quite a few weeks following the guide and using the reflection questions before moving onto what to eat. This method will help you prepare for upcoming dietary changes, that will help  you think gain control over food. The added bonus? Your body will change, and you will be able to maintain the fit, healthy physique you are desperately wanting!

Since you may have had unwated eating habits for quite a while it is really important that you make the most of this opportunity to change, otherwise the problem is likely to persist. Making changes will be hard work but it will be worth it. The more you put in, the more you will get out.

This September, I have opened up 3 spots for the exclusive 1-to-1 coaching. If interested please send a message to inquire about reserving your spot.

 

Why People Never Become Fit

fitness sabotage

Have you wondered why some people never become fit? After working in the fitness industry for over 15 years, I have come to notice 3 reasons why many people don’t become fit.

1. It never occurs to them

It never occurs to certain people that they can become fit. Because of their upbringing and early conditioning, perhaps coming from a home where no one had ever eaten healthy or exercised, or associating with unfit people, they never thought that they could become fit.

2. They never decided to do it

Many people wish, hope, dream and fantasize about how their lives would be different if they were fit. They admire and envy people around them who are fitter than they are. They worry about their health, including weight all the time. But they never make a firm, take action decision to become fit.

As a result, they never even take the first step. They don’t learn fitness-creation techniques. They don’t upgrade their knowledge, and skills so that they become fitter.

These people often make excuses and rationalize their fitness situation by saying that fitness success is simply a matter of “genes” and they didn’t get any.

3. They procrastinate

If it does occur that these people want to become fitter, they never in fact get started. They procrastinate. They often move to that wonderful fantasy place called, “Someday I will.”

  • Someday I will start eating healthy.
  • Someday I will work harder and make my fitness a priority.
  • Someday I will stop making excuses.

These people end up living on “Someday I will” for most of their lives.

Learning & Practice

Fortunately, each of these limitations to fitness success can be overcome through learning and practice. Each of these obstacles can be turned into a stepping-stone to success when you learn how to think the way fit people think!

One of the greatest secrets I tell my clients is to vote yourself in! Stop making excuses and start making progress.

You can think and become fit with the proper support system!