Colour, colour, colour!

I’m into my fifth day on WW. I’m feeling positive and optimistic.

I had one evening where I felt a bit of a dip. A sense of looking for ‘something’, I just went to bed instead.

If I needed a boot up the bum I got one this week from my Dr. I am dangerously anaemic. My iron stores are so low that I would eligible for a blood transfusion! I knew that I was anaemic as I’d had blood tests done after breaking my ankle but it’s much more severe than I had appreciated.

Although my diet is a factor in this, I know that it’s more than that. It’s a combination of not putting my health first. I am still recovering from breast cancer treatment and I had been tolerating stress at work combined with pretty bad heavy periods.

My periods had stopped while I went through chemo. They came back 6 months after I completed treatment. I’d already gone through a chemical menopause when this happened with sweats and joint pain. I can’t say I was thrilled to have my periods back but the absence of oestrogen in my body was not enjoyable either. My returning periods were a sign that my body was returning to normal and I have to be grateful for that.

So this week I am grateful that I can eat nutritious food that feeds my body and contributes to my health.

I need to remember this when I seek comfort in unplanned food that is not nutritious and will not provide fuel for my body. I’m looking forward to my WI and feel calm and content with where I am at.

Prepare your Terrain.

Successful weight loss is about planning and organisation as much as it is about mindset.

Mindset Preparation Summary

  • Anticipate the habit and have an alternative range of habits to replace it with.
  • Know specifically WHY you want to lose weight and what that will deliver for you. You will need to read these goals everyday as a reminder when your motivation drops. Your motivation is likely to drop so anticipate that inevitability.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses and use that.
  • Use STAR to set specific goals.
  • Learn to reframe negative attitudes. It’s likely that you have some.
  • Give yourself credit for what you are doing right and celebrate it.

The Terrain

  • Get rid of trigger foods or put them in a separate cupboard
  • Have your own space for your food.
  • Make decisions about the structures which will support your weight loss. For me that’s WW. Joining a club keeps me accountable and provides opportunities to connect. That’s important to me.
  • A weigh in helps me but not obsessively weighing in every day. I’m not going to do that.
  • Planning and tracking are the keys to unlocking success with weight loss. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
  • Link back organisation and planning to your mindset goals every day.
  • It’s hard work but it is worth it.
  • Go!

Celebrate success!

Most people with experience of dieting also have had experience of disappointment and feelings of failure.

Dieters can experience feelings of helplessness if they ‘stray’ from the diet or if they don’t lose weight.

Building confidence in your capacity to lose weight and maintain it is crucial. The habit of recognising what you are doing right is much more important than worrying when things go wrong. Inevitably, sometimes things will go off plan. As long as things are mostly going right, you will lose weight.

You must give yourself credit for what you are doing right.

When you have a nutritious breakfast, give yourself a pat on the back. When you eat foods for their nutrition, say well done. When you plan and cook a healthy, filling dinner, ring out a ‘bravo’. These behaviours are directing you towards your goals so recognise that and celebrate it.

No doubt you have taken every opportunity to criticise your poor choices over the years. Now take time to appraise the positive choices you are making.

At the same time register gratitude that you can make these choices. We live in a society that provides the opportunity to buy fresh nutritious food as far as your budget dictates. Feel the gratitude when you eat food that nourishes your body. Allow gratitude to nourish your spirit too.

Finally, whatever you eat, eat it mindfully. Be in the moment with the sensations and pleasure that eating brings. Sit and enjoy your food. It should be an event, even if it’s a small snack, make it a big moment.

Sabotaging Thoughts Reframed.

I’ve been trying to lose weight since I was 15 yrs old. That’s over 30 yrs now.

If I’d committed that time to anything else I’d be the master of it! Instead I feel like I’m back where I always find myself. I also know that’s not true. That I have learned skills over those years and have gained acceptance too.

I am kinder to myself and more accepting of my limitations. Losing weight and maintaining it is hard. Being overweight is hard. This is a choose your ‘hard’ scenario.

Sabotaging thoughts must be reframed. Here’s a list of mine.

1. I don’t want to write down a plan for eating, I want to be spontaneous…..

But…I am more likely to achieve success if I write it down.

2. Organising my food takes so much time and I can’t always be bothered….

But….organising my food is time consuming and that’s ok because it is a good use of my time. It shows commitment to my changed priorities.

3. I don’t want to tolerate hunger and cravings….

But…learning to cope with that discomfort is key to long term success. These feelings pass but the feelings of achievement are longer lasting.

4. I don’t want to lose the comfort food brings to me…

But…. I need to find other ways of receiving comfort and further understanding of why I feel this way.

5. I want to eat these leftovers….

But … I want to be slim more. I’m not a bin.

Know Yourself

The journey to self knowledge ….

If you struggle to maintain a healthy weight do you know why?

I have a diet history that goes back 30 years.

I have had counselling for a eating disorder.

I have poor eating habits.

I don’t prioritise my food choices which can lead to poor choices.

I tend to overeat in response to negative feelings such as distress, frustration, loneliness, anger, boredom.

I also tend to overeat when I am tired or unwell.

I also tend to ‘treat’ myself with food.

I celebrate with food.

On a positive note…

I feel positively about lifestyle changes and diets as I see it as an act of self care and self love.

I am not easily influenced by others expectations of me.

My motivation to lose weight is high and it feels completely achievable within the timescale I’ve set.

I can display good will power especially after I’ve stuck to the first couple of weeks.

In summary. I know myself when it comes to food. Emotional eating and being disorganised are pitfalls for me.


Goal Setting must be……


Being clear about WHAT you are going to do.

For me that means planning and tracking my food.

Organising planned snacks and treats.

If I do that I know I am guaranteed success with weight loss. If I want to achieve that outcome this is the roadmap for that.


Being realistic. For me this includes accepting fluctuation with weight as a normal part of the process.

Timescales also have to be realistic. Weight loss is a process. 3 months on track will get me to goal but 2 months will take me to a healthy BMI.

One month will take me to half a stone loss and one week will take me to a feeling of achievement. That’s all good.


As I recover from my ankle injury I will become more active. I will aim towards walking and swimming and will see a physio about my mobility.


Goal setting is about what you want to do not what you feel you should do.

I want to feel more healthy and my behaviour will take me towards that goal.

I also will want to eat unhealthy things and that’s where I have to replace certain habits with better ones.

Can include upcoming events to motivate as long as that does not become a pressure.

My Why

My Heath Why…..

I want to eat for my health.

I want to keep a healthy BMI.

This will reduce my risk for type 2 diabetes.

I want to reduce the strain on my joints.

It will reduce my risk for other health issues.

My Self Esteem Why….

I would like to wear clothes with confidence.

I would like to feel comfortable in my clothes.

I enjoy nice clothes and I’m not expressing myself the way I could.

I’ll enjoy trying on clothes again.

I deserve to feel excitement about my clothes and wearing them on holiday in particular.

My personal Why….

I will feel more optimistic.

I will feel more energised.

I will enjoy physical intimacy more.

I will feel more joyful.

I will feel like the best version of myself.

Transforming Habits

Step 1 -Identifying the habit I want to change.

This is easy. It’s snacking. Constant grazing and mindless eating. Damaging to my health and to my self esteem and self concept.

Step 2 -Thinking about what that habit gives me.

It gives me short term pleasure, comfort and a feeling of boosting my energy levels.

Step 3 -What can I replace it with?

There are so many other activities I could engage in.

Drinking peppermint tea

Eating raw vegetables or fruit

Doing exercises to build strength in my leg

Reading a poem

Looking after my skin by exfoliating and moisturising



Organising and emptying house move boxes

Step 4- So I will drink tea, eat veg, smell lotions, use my mind and focus on creating new habits in order to replace harmful ones.

How to spring back?

Just before Christmas I fractured the tibia and fibula in my ankle joint. Just letting my dog out in the back garden. The fibula snapped, broke through my skin and became dislodged.

The injury was fixed with plates and screws. A shattered bone fragment was removed. It was all very painful and inconvenient. There is never a good time to break your leg, and I can confirm that 3 weeks before moving house is definitely poor timing. I wore a leg cast for 6 weeks before beginning to walk again. It was a painful and slow process.

So far, poor me! The enforced recovery time created the perfect climate for someone who struggles with maintaining a healthy weight to succumb to known triggers. No exercise, no outdoors and lots of comfort eating contributed to a soaring weight gain. Feelings of frustration, self pity and distress weighed down upon me.

When you fall, how do you get back up? This became my literal and metaphorical quest. When life knocks you down, how do you spring back? Resilience feels harder when you feel a bit broken.

My starting point was identifying my unhelpful habits, with the intention of replacing them with self care habits instead.

This is my intention: to take my recovery step by step and strap better habits along for the ride.