Create a Weight Loss Mindset That Wins!

To lose weight, yes we have to change what we eat. But if we want to make weight loss a permanent change, we also have to understand why we eat.

In this episode we will dive into:

  • How thoughts cause our feelings
  • Why avoiding negative feelings causes a desire to eat
  • How the “child” brain affects the “adult” brain
  • How to begin changing your weight loss story

To join the Neuro-Slim Solution exclusive coaching program, click here! Watch the video to see if you qualify!

 

Find Your Strong Podcast Interview: Mind Over Mood With Jill Bunny

Episode Summary:
Jenny and Jill’s candid, open conversation uncovers the world of fitness competitions that most dare not talk about. They also discuss why the mind is the key ingredient missing in most health and fitness transformations.

Through the many “aha moments’ leading up to Jill’s path of success and helping so many women do the same, she discovered how CBT can help transform women’s lives – both personally and professionally!

For more information on The Neuro-Slim Solution exclusive coaching program visit: www.neuroslim.caFor more information on how to join an upcoming photoshoot retreat visit: www.reframeyourbiz.com

Perception And Your Relationship With Food

To help you feel empowered, let’s begin by talking about mindset and how you relate to food. When trying new things, there is always the concern of self-sabotage or just getting in our way. Self-sabotage and fear all stem from the beliefs you hold, your current perception, how you define yourself, your abilities, and outside influences in your life (in this case, food). Your ability to overcome that fear and step into your power requires merely a shift in perspective. That’s how much power perspective has in our lives.

Any changes we make in our lives can feel like a challenge. We can often feel like those who are successful must have tremendous willpower and drive that we don’t. The truth is that you are just as powerful and equally able- it’s just a matter of perception. You see, there are two ways to view one’s ability. Ability is either fixed or ingrained. In other words, a fixed mindset believes we are born with a certain level of ability, and we cannot change that. A growth mindset believes we can develop our ability through hard work and effort. These two different beliefs lead to different behaviours, and also to different results. Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your ability and can learn and improve) is the key to success. Yes, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you control your own destiny.

Research shows that it’s the way we think about our ability that counts. How we perceive our ability and just about anything in our life will 100% determine how we respond to those things. A healthy mindset allows you to see something for what it really means instead of what one hopes or fears it to be. Let’s use food as an example. If you see food as fuel, you will most definitely change the way you respond to it. If you see food as something other than what it is, we can get entangled in a pattern of unhealthy behaviours. Your relationship with food may need to change. It’s important to understand that food isn’t the problem. It’s the relationship you have with food, that may be the issue. The good news is that this very relationship is informing you of a deeper issue needing to be addressed that you might not have otherwise seen.

Our relationships reveal so much about ourselves. Quite often we may struggle in our relationship and describe all the problems we now have in our life as a result of it. We may describe our partners’ lack of communication and listening skills. We may reel in anger for the lack of acknowledgement and grieve over the loss of the person they used to be as if the relationship has changed them. However, relationships don’t necessarily change us because the problems that have surfaced were already there.

Our relationships just reveal the problems we bring into them, yet, we become fixated on fixing the relationship rather fixing ourselves. We don’t want (or should I say the ego doesn’t want) the problem to be with ourselves. Why? Because we would have to feel and face things that might be uncomfortable. However, the discomfort you feel day to day with your body, your weight, and your constant diligence to feed that emptiness that never feels full, is much more uncomfortable. This is because that discomfort exists in the present, but what fuels that discomfort has already past.

The thoughts and feelings that prompt your emotional eating behaviours are connected to memories (and memories are of course in the past, which means you can address those feelings and thoughts whatever they may be). Whatever past memories they connect to are now just recordings in your brain. They’re not happening anymore. For that reason, whatever you may need to address will never feel as intense as it did when it was actually happening. It’s just a matter of acknowledging that it did happen and finding meaning in what happened from the position to which you stand today.

It’s not a matter of torturing ourselves with old feelings and memories, rather, making sense and attaching meaning to those memories that resolves them. Otherwise, we may play out a passive aggressive behaviour to vent those feelings, and that passive aggressive behaviour is your battle with food.

Relationships can be tricky because they give us a false sense of control yet, we don’t have control over other people. We only have control over our responses to them. The same goes with food, emotional eating, and how we respond to the cravings and urges that we so often feel powerless over. The fact of the matter is, you have formed an intimate relationship with food. If you’re emotionally eating, then it’s not a healthy relationship with food, but a co-dependent one.

Codependence is managing one’s own feelings by managing another’s. So, food isn’t the problem. Food just reveals the problems as well as the emotional needs that were already there. Getting your power back and overcoming emotional eating begins by re-defining the problem more accurately and addressing the emotional needs that have gone unacknowledged.

However, just to normalize this dysfunctional relationship that you have with food (and that so many others do as well), it’s no wonder that so many people develop an emotional relationship with food to begin with. Food is consistent in our lives when others in the past have abandoned us or let us down. Food acknowledges our feelings. It’s there when we get home after a long day to comfort us. It’s nurturing and always delivers. It’s always there to entertain us when were bored. We can trust food. It will never reject us, it’s dependable, and reliable to the very end.

The problem with the dynamics of this relationship is that food cannot be given that kind of power in our lives, any more than we should give people in our lives that kind of power. People in our lives, regardless of what they think, do, or have done, don’t define us or our capabilities, and neither should food.

We must not confuse food in this way. Food is not just love. You might have associated food with love as a result of memories in the past where food represented love from another but food is also fuel and medicine for our bodies. Viewing food in the right context will help you shift that relationship into a healthier one and this is how we become empowered over food. Your perception determines your actions!

Together, let’s consider four tips to help you begin the process of changing your relationship with food.

1. Be Present
2. Listen to Your Body
3. Learn to Respect Food
4. Forgive Food and Forgive Yourself
If this sounds like something you would like to work on, TOGETHER, then send me a message! Let’s see if 1-to-1 coaching is the solution for building a healthier relationship with food.

Weight Loss Coaching For Women

weight loss coaching with Jill Bunny

Have You Struggled To Lose Weight?

Weight loss can be a complex experience for many women. Being bombarded with different diets and struggling to lose weight can make us feel deflated and exhausted.

You may want to lose weight to feel healthier, improve your energy levels and prevent or manage illness. You may dislike your body shape and struggle with poor body image, and want to lose weight to feel more comfortable within yourself.

It is important to consider your reasons for wanting to lose weight and the steps you can take to ensure that you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

In this post, you can find out more about the psychological and nutritional reasons why you may be struggling to lose weight, and how 1-to-1 CBT-Fitness coaching can help you achieve your weight loss goals and lead a healthier and happier life.

The Low Down On Weight Loss…

Feeling fat and heavy, struggling to lose weight, a sense of deprivation when you diet, and poor self-worth are the reasons why many women come to seek coaching. For many women it is not so easy to just follow a calorie-restricted diet and exercise more. We have so many emotional, relational and behavioural associations to eating, which can make it feel impossible to lose weight. Our headspace, habits and emotional soothing are all connected to how and what we eat.

Do any of the terms below resonate with you? How long have you struggled with your weight? For some,  weight issues start in adult life, but for many weight has been a struggle for most of their life. Together, I will help you unpack the associations, messages, decisions, patterns and beliefs that keep you trapped in a continuous struggle with your weight.

  • Habits
  • Poor Sleep
  • Social Eating
  • Negative Thinking
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self Sabotage
  • Emotional Eating
  • Time Management
  • Low Self-Worth
  • Stress

Psychological Factors Related to Weight Loss

Sometimes our relationship with food and eating can affect our weight loss journey and hold us back from achieving our goals.

Inner Critic

When we have unsuccessfully tried many times to lose weight, we may start to internalise our failures as being a part of our personality.

Over time, we may have developed an inner critical voice, which tells us that we are useless, worthless and will never succeed in losing weight. We may think to ourselves ‘what is the point?’ and lose motivation to achieve our goals.

This inner critical voice might cause us to self-sabotage attempts to lose weight. We may find ourselves overeating on sugary foods, or eating secretly away from other people. This forms a vicious cycle of self-sabotage, moving us further away from our weight loss goals.

Emotional Eating

Sometimes we turn to food to escape from challenging emotions, and this can affect our weight loss journey.

Stress, anxiety and low mood can affect our food choices. After a difficult day at work or an argument with a loved one, we may find ourselves comfort eating. We may choose to eat foods that soothe us, such as chocolate, cookies and wine.

Emotional eating can make us feel numb or ‘happy’ in the short-term, but inevitably leads to feelings of guilt and shame, and the emotions we wanted to avoid feel more challenging and overwhelming.

I can support you in working through your emotional triggers and help you build new ways to work through your feelings without reaching for food. Many of my clients find this an important exercise that supports long-term weight loss and maintenance.

We believe that you can reach your weight loss goals with the right support. We offer different treatment options, depending on your needs, to help you achieve long-term weight loss and optimize your wellbeing.

CBT-Fitness For Weight Loss

I am here to support you in redefining your relationship with food and eating.

CBT-Fitness Weight Loss Coaching can help you explore what may be holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals:

  • Breaking old habits and updating broken thinking
  • Understanding the emotions you may associate with food
  • Building self-esteem and confidence
  • Finding practical ways of reaching weight loss goals

CBT-Fitness Weight Loss Coaching can support you by exploring deeper psychological themes that have defined your relationship with food:

  • Exploring the origins of unhelpful thinking patterns, feelings and behaviours
  • Resolving and updating food scripts and our beliefs around food and eating
  • Processing experiences or events from our past that have influenced our relationship with food
  • Promoting emotional resilience and regulation, and finding ways to cope with difficult situations

I believe that taking a holistic approach to weight loss is the best way to achieve long-term positive outcomes.

If you are ready to start your 1-to-1 weight loss coaching experience, contact today!

The Secret To Successful Weight-Loss

weight loss coach

CBT Weight loss coaching can help you work through underlying mental factors that impact your relationship with your body, food and eating. This can help you reach your weight loss goals and produce long-term change.

In this blog post, you will find out more about different emotional and social factors that might be influencing your weight loss journey, and how CBT-inspired weight loss coaching can help you explore these and regain control over your weight.

Is Weight Loss CBT Coaching For Me?

  • Has your weight been a struggle for too much of your life?
  • Have you been on countless diets, your weight yo-yo-ing endlessly up and down?
  • Do you feel helpless, and struggle to believe that you will ever be able to break your unhappy relationship with food, eating, weight and your body?

The CBT weight loss method I use keeps your needs at the forefront of our coaching program. There may well be other issues that underlie your eating behaviour, such as anxiety-related feelings, low mood or low self-worth that will need to be worked through for real change to take place. We will help you explore the big picture of what has contributed to, and now maintains, your struggle with weight. Here are two areas that we may explore with you in the CBT weight loss coaching program:

Food Scripting

We all have a very unique and different upbringing that contributes greatly to the way we eat today.

We call this ‘food scripting’ and the messages we heard from our parents and grandparents, get mixed up with peer group attitudes and the prominent cultural influences of society at that time.

No wonder we get a little confused! The result is we carry a weight, food and eating legacy that is based on decisions, beliefs, values and attitudes that we formed in childhood.

They are out of date and need resolving and updating.

Food as Comfort, Reward and Punishment

Our relationship with food runs deep. It can take on many meanings for us, which are often in conflict with each other.

The reverse is also true, when food is denied it can feel like a punishment. Deprivation, unfairness and anger can result, meaning we want to rebel against the sanctions of authority figures. The problem is today we are both the rule-maker of the dietary restriction and the rebellious child that wants comfort from food.

Do you remember being rewarded with your favourite food if you were a good boy or girl?

After a stressful long day at work, overwhelmed and overloaded we are often left with a strong desire to reward ourselves with food.

How Does CBT Weight Loss Coaching Work?

We respect that you have your own personal story. My job is to listen carefully and make sure you feel heard, seen and understood.

Together we will make sense of the patterns that you present with weight, food, eating and your body.

We will bring into awareness the factors that got you stuck and look for the ones that are now maintaining the vicious cycle you are in with your body.

We will be explicit with the areas we need to focus on. I will support you in acquiring new self-management skills and updating aspects of your personality, so you can achieve your weight loss and life goals.

If you are ready to kick-start your CBT weight loss journey, let’s talk! Book in your discovery call today, by simply sending me a message using the contact page. Look forward to working with you!

Is Your Good Enough, Good Enough?

 

Episode notes

Like so many in the health space, Jill Bunny has an incredible story of overcoming health challenges such as developing an eating disorder after having been divorced, jobless and financially broke at the age of 25.

After overcoming her eating disorder, regaining her health and strength and dominating the competition stage and fitness magazine covers, she found herself diagnosed with Cancer as well as MS.

Through CBT, Jill has taught her clients to respond to negative thoughts towards food and body image with positive affirmations she calls “helpful responses.” By tackling the mindset issues, she helps women lose weight with achievable, sustainable results.

If you’re ready to take the Big 5 Personality test mentioned in the episode: click here! 

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, we’d love for you to write a review.  Go to ➡️ https://www.ratethispodcast.com/health

3 Self-Help Tips For Managing Unhelpful Eating Behaviours

Over the past year, you may have experienced heightened anxiety due to the disruption in your normal routine. Likely, this may have left you feeling sad, angry or out of control. You might be scared that being unable to exercise and follow your normal meal plan will worsen your fitness levels or body composition and cause you to return to unhelpful behaviours, such as over-eating, in order to relieve your tension and cope with the uncertainty.

Unhelpful eating habits can often be accompanied with other mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, perfectionism and low self-worth. The current forced isolation due to COVID-19 can further add to the struggle of feeling disconnected from others, or feeling trapped in a negative cycle of obsessive thoughts around food and the scale.

I have put together 3 self-help tips to help you manage your unhelpful eating behaviours, so that anxiety and stress around food, eating and weight does not become overwhelming.

Start with a micro goal; do one small thing for ten minutes, every day that makes you feel good – a healthy new mini habit! This will become the beginning of a new healthy routine, and will help prevent future self-sabotage.

1. STRUCTURE YOUR DAY

It is normal to experience feelings of anxiety, fear, frustration, boredom and loneliness as a result of the uncertainty we encountered this past year.

Keeping some structure in your day, and having a plan of the tasks that you would like to accomplish each day, will help you feel in control and maintain a form of routine during this challenging period in human history.

You could try small things like getting up and going to bed at the same time, eating at certain times of the day, and spending time with family. Some clients I work with find it helpful to create a plan for the day ahead, with activities they enjoy doing integrated around their work schedule.

2. SET ASIDE WORRY TIME

You may be feeling out of control and overwhelmed and finding yourself reaching out for food to soothe or distract yourself from your emotions.

Acknowledge the emotions and distress you are experiencing. You can even use an evening journal to note them down. This will help you both tolerate and soothe your emotions without the need to engage in emotional eating.

Set aside worry time each day where for 10-15 minutes you kindly challenge your worries and thoughts with a rational mind, finding a more helpful thing to say to yourself. This will help to contain your thoughts, and build a series of positive things you can say to yourself.

If your anxiety feels a 4 out of 10, try to find an activity that calms you down, such as going for a walk, taking a hot shower or calling a friend. If your anxiety feels an 8 out of 10, it is important to have a close friend or family member you can reach out to share your worries, or contact myself for extra support with 1-to-1 commitment focused coaching.

3. NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH NUTRITION & FOCUS ON THE BASICS

You might be feeling angry or anxious that you can’t exercise or go to the gym as normal, and scared this may cause you to gain weight. It is important to use the self-isolation period as an opportunity to slow down, rest and nourish your body with healthy foods to maintain good physical and mental health. Not sure what to make? Download your free copy of the 100+ recipe cookbook. 

Explore some light exercise you can do at home, or we can build a custom plan based on the equipment that you have available. Remind yourself of your motivation and intention for fit living and focus on small steps of change.

I work with all aspects of mental health and wellbeing, combining CBT-Fitness coaching and counselling skills to help you manage your unhelpful behaviours, with nutritional and lifestyle interventions to support you in building optimal physical and mental health.

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.

 

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!

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.