So I've decided to be a human guinea pig and conduct a little experiment. I don't know about you but I've been feeling a little sluggish lately which I've put down to the darker, colder weather. I've never liked getting out of bed when it's dark! So I've just been getting on with things really (all be it a little slower than usual).
Late last week I became inspired to experiment with how much of an impact food has on how you feel. (I put it down to becoming a little obsessed with watching the Food Hospital on TV.)
So I've kicked out the cakes, crisps and chocolaty goodness and stuffed my face with fruit, veg, meat and pasta. I also seem to have eaten a lot of baked beans and tuna!! As you know I'm all about the brain and getting the best from your thinking so I'm a few days in and thought I'd report on my results.
1) So far I've been on a course all day Sunday and worked 32 hours in 3 days from Mon-Weds. In a normal week I'd have been dead on my feet today. I've actually got all of my to-do list done plus a little extra - whoop.
2) Wednesday night is notoriously a killer, driving back over the M62 at night after a long day's work. It usually requires some extra focus and effort. This week I found myself chair dancing to the radio all the way home. Maybe just because there were good tunes on the radio but I definitely felt a lot more awake and alert.
3) I also feel I can think clearer, I definitely feel I'm firing on all cylinders instead of forcing the cogs to go round.
Oo I know it's not brain related but I'm counting the 4lb weight loss as an extra bonus :)
I know my little experience wouldn't hold it's own in a quantative/qualitive study but I'm convinced that food can help you feel and think well. So if you're feeling low and sluggish with a mushy brain take a good look at your diet. Reach for the nutritious foods and cut down on the high sugar and fatty foods and see if it makes a difference to how you think and feel.
I'll definitely be taking my own advice and sticking with this one.
Have a lovely day
An article I read about obesity surgery has really caught my eye today. So I thought it would be worth sharing my thoughts.
You can read it here if you're interested http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19982591
If you haven't got time to read it here's a basic summary: The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death looked at the care given to more than 300 patients at NHS and private hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It found that many were given insufficient time or information to properly consent to the operations. It also found that not all patients were given access to dieticians and psychologists.
This report doesn't surprise me at all, I hope we get to a time when we see people holistically and give them the freedom and range of choice in their own health and not glitze up a very serious operation as a quick fix. I think its awful that many people who are in this situation aren't given the care and focus they deserve. There are so many options and professionals who can make a huge difference why aren't these services being fully utilised?
In my opinion surgery should be the last resort after looking at ways to help change your habits, behaviours or feelings towards food or yourself. Many times I've worked with people with weight issues and mostly I don't end up working on food but on confidence, self esteem and how they feel about their life. I've seen people go through these surgery solutions and it bothers me that people see this as the easy way out, I can honestly say it isn't.
I'm not saying I disagree with this type of surgery, for some people this is absolutely the right approach but you deserve to have all the information so you can choose what's right for you. It's worrying that we live in a culture where we want everything now regardless of what it costs in the long run. Is your body and mind really worth that little?
How can we help people feel good about themselves if we don't give them the tools to lead a balanced, healthy life? I hope more is done to integrate the services on offer as a result of this report. I'm so proud I get to see the faces and pictures of people I've helped lose weight, by addressing the underlying causes of their unhappiness, anxieties and stress. Its things like this that make my job worth while.
Hope you're having a good Thursday
There are many times in my line of work that I learn little tips and activities which are facinating and helpful. So I thought it would be nice to share them.
Here's one of my favourites to help you understand the way you think a little better. It may also help improve the way you communiate with others. It's a quick and easy one to get us started.
Spend two minutes now thinking back to a fond memory, it could be a favourite holiday or a memory from your
childhood, try and remember it in detail. Do it now before reading on.
Now be conscious of how you remembered this, which one of these is most appropriate or stood out for you?
· You saw it like a vivid picture? Almost relive it? Or saw it through your own eyes?
· You remember it by hearing who said what, or the sounds you heard or didn't hear at the time? Like it was so peaceful or the lapping of waves etc.
· You remember it by how you felt at the time, feeling happy, comfortable or relaxed in the way you did when you experienced it for real?
We all use a blend of these methods but which is your strongest? This is how your brain likes to work and it is different for each person depending on which one their brain finds easier.
Now you know how you think, just imagine if every time someone explained something to you they described it in the way which your brain used. Describing a picture, explaining what was said or explaining how it will make you feel. This is how you can make it easier to remember or learn things. Your brain will take it on board quicker if it's in your language.
You can build rapport with people quickly using this idea too.
Next time someone speaks to you make a mental note of the words they use in order to determine how they like to think. Some examples to look out for are below but there are many more.
· I hear what you are saying.
· I see what you mean.
· I feel that would be the right thing to do.
· The way I look at it is….
Taking note of these things can help you structure your answer so you’re speaking in their language. If you speak in their language you're likely to get your point across easier.
So a few of my friends and family have decided to give the Stoptober challenge a go. It got me thinking how I could help. Now unfortunately I don't have the time to go round them all with some hypno wonderfulness especially since they live all over the country but I do have time to share a little mind wisdom in the
hope it helps.
Now I can almost guarentee that this is the hard bit, a few days in and reality is kicking in. Will power gets you so far, then its about shear determined effort even when the going gets rough. Now I and others around are all there to support, waving pom poms and yelling "go for it!" but that doesn't get away from that niggly voice in your head saying, "oo go on, just this one, it will be ok." So here's a little mind magic to help.
Tip 1 - We're amazing at giving ourselves excuses and reasons for everything. The fact is you're deciding to listen to that voice, even if it's just for a second. You control your mind and that's a fact. At a risk of sounding like Grange Hill, "just say NO". Tell yourself you aren't listening, aren't interested and change the subject. Give these thoughts no time or space. Once you stop telling yourself you could, might, maybe and start saying I'm a none smoking, don't like it, need it etc you'll be amazed at how different you start to feel.
Tip 2 - None of us do something for no reason. So what's your reason for smoking? A few minutes away from your busy day? A social catch up away from the bosses ear? A good catch up with mates? A way to calm yourself down? Whatever it is needs filling without the fags, depriving yourself makes your need for smoking worse. Chances are you're saying "oo I couldn't possibly do that without the fags." If you're saying that you're probably right. You won't be able to because you're constantly telling yourself you can't. Fill the emotion somewhere else and it won't be as hard to give up the smoking. Give your energy to saying you can do it, rather than how difficult or how you can't do it.
So keep going, remember why you decided to quit in the first place and keep telling yourself you can do it. Oo and save the money so you can treat yourself at certain intervals.
Here's to the next 4 weeks of being a none smoker.