From my perspective it is not the food and drink over Christmas that is at fault. The weight we are is based on a simple equation
Weight = food/drink consumed – energy used
Whichever way you look at it weight follows that simple equation. Some people are petrol thirsty cars and some are highly efficient machines but the speed of consumption does not matter as long as it is matched by the energy used by the body.
So how can I claim that the food we consumed over Christmas is not the real problem? The answer is that if we increase our food intake over a few days but then it returns to normal. So will our body weight. If extra energy is not being put into the body the body gets back into balance.
So what is the real problem of January weight gain? The answer is in the change of habits. Even if you are a health conscious person most of the year the chances are you allow yourself to relax a little over Christmas. You allow yourself treats you probably would not eat normally. Once you do this you naturally enjoy the treats (why bother otherwise?) then you are tempted again and again. Perhaps even though you decide you don’t want this extra food there is a lot of surplus tempting food around and you still give into moments of weakness. This period continues for longer than you intend and slowly your habits have changed and you are eating more over a long period. Your weight inevitably changes and you then start to feel bad, feel lethargic and stressed which can then cause you to be concerned about food and you then eat to comfort yourself.
This is where you need to stop and get back to the food you were eating last November. For some people this is an easy thing to do. For others it is quite hard and this is where someone like myself that can help you change habits using your unconscious mind (which is where habits run) can be of help. To lose weight when there is so much surplus food around requires some conscious effort but with someone helping you to help yourself weight loss becomes so much easier than you think.]]>
Hold on! What does this mean? Most people wish people a “Happy new year” but what does the person saying it think of and what does the person receiving it think of? Are they the same thing?
Are we wanting everyone to feeling happy 24 hours a day, 7 day a week, for the next 52 weeks? Perhaps we are. I can’t help wondering if the person would notice though. It takes me back to my favourite question does a fish know it is swimming in water? A fish just knows it moves around. Unless it is a fish that swims at the top of water and has experienced the feeling of “no water” I am not sure it does.
If someone has a happy disposition do they know it themselves or does it require others to point it out to them that they are typically happier than the average person? People might have an idea of some of their habits and attributes but it normally takes an outsider to help us understand who we are and who we are not. We can be very self aware but never spot something that someone would instantly associate with us.
Getting back to “Happy new year” was 2012 a happy year? How do judge this? I suspect some readers instantly answered my question hopefully positively but positively negatively. In 1992 in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of her Accession, Queen Elizabeth II, described 1992 as “Annus Horribilis”. What happened in the 1992 that was so bad? Well according to Wiki
I am sure all these things were terrible for the Queen at the time. I wonder how they are in retrospect? I wonder if she values having the fire now as it means better fire precautions are in place. Yes it is sad to have lost what she did but it could have been so much worse.
Are her children happier as individual having had their breakups? Would the Queen be so upset if Prince William got to the point of a marriage breakup or has the precedent and reality of modern life now influenced things?
These are four things that were public knowledge in the Queen’s life how much happiness did she experience? How much happiness had she forgotten she experienced that year as she was choosing to summarise it as “Annus Horribilis”?
It is normally very easy to dismiss happy events and remember problems and sadness. Problems and misfortunate cause us pain. We don’t like pain. We remember pain. Perhaps people take happiness for granted, perhaps people are poor at spotting it. Perhaps it just doesn’t have the impact on our lives that bad events have.
So when I wish people a happy new year what do I actually mean? What am I really wanting?
I think a happy new year for me is one where I can help change peoples lives for the positive. I enjoy doing this because it makes me feel good and I am selfish in enjoying feeling good inside. It matters little to me if the person who’s life is better is aware of the change or whether I receive praise for it. If I know I have put myself out to increase happiness in the world then I have done something good and I feel good inside. I am aware I make mistakes and I get things wrong but if I strive to improve I can’t fail to become happier and happier. Will I notice? I think in my case I will.
So my wish for 2013 is that everyone can increase their positive influence other people’s lives for their own selfish happiness.
Happy new year!]]>
As I continued to run I saw a runner turn round and go home because he couldn’t get any grip in his conventional running shoes. I would be interested to hear from anyone as to what they notice if they change their focus and start thinking about the bone structures in their feet as they walk or run in slippy conditions.
Don’t be surprised if a future post is how to recover from an accident on ice!]]>
Someone recently had some foot pain while she was in trance and relaxing. It is not uncommon for this kind of distraction and my client was getting used to what hypnosis is all about so she decided to focus elsewhere and not on the discomfort. She also experimented with what happened if she did focus on the discomfort. She noticed it got worse so went back to focusing elsewhere. I was really pleased with her experimentation. It was a great sign she was learning on many levels.
I therefore took her one stage further. I explained pain can be like a naughty child. If you have a child and you make it feel unloved is it going to be less of a problem? I am sure the consensus would be no. If instead you give that child some love and encouragement it will start to respond and grow. Therefore give that pain or feeling some love. Show it that you value what it is doing for you. Give it a model to mimic as to how to be. IE if the other foot is in good shape ask it to model that foot. When you give something a goal to aim for it is more likely to move towards it. When you just tell it to go away what is it supposed to aim for?]]>
I don’t run with anyone so my running is very much based against time. Another toastmaster friend also does barefoot running and he runs purely for fun. It made me consider why I like to time my runs and for me it is about watching my progress. If I don’t see that I am improving or facing challenges I am missing out on some praise I could be giving myself. Running for me is the driver that is making it easier for me to move forward with my ME or Chronic Fatigue syndrome. I have had this illness since 1994. Physically now I am in great shape. I can enjoy life. Mentally however I am still improving (notice the way I phrase that. It gives forward momentum even if I feel I have been stuck for a while). Often by 9am I am aware I need to sleep or recharge as I prefer to think of it now. This is quite a new pattern for me and I am able to push on till midday but if I need to do mental work I will often recharge in order to maximise my capabilities. If I push through my work is often poor. Not that I have any basis for proving this claim. Perhaps it is actually OK. However instead of walking along a flat surface it feels like I am walking up a 1 in 3 hill. When I recharge I loose time but it is easier to push on.
As is usual for one of my blogs the direction of this one is not where I first intended it so I will get back to my original point. As I run against the clock I notice some days I am poor. I have been through a period of two months where my best time went from 20:10 to 18:18 after being stuck for about 1 year. This inspired me greatly. It made me realise I must have had limitations in my thinking.
After that period I was stuck again. I was running and sometimes I could get down to 18:20 but other days I was as slow as 19:00 again (I always took consolation that this slow time was so much faster than an old personal best (PB)). It has been my goal for about 2 years to run around Mersea Island which is about 13 miles and prove to myself I can no longer have ME. I was getting close to being ready to do it and then winter set in. Then I had knee problems. Then I got frustrated that my dog keeps waking the house if I go for a longer run without her. Now I am experimenting to see how far she can run but winter is setting in again.
Once the whether started turning my running became slower. I blamed the wind being strong on the top of a field. I blamed the fact I had run a long distance. I blamed the cold. Some days my legs just were not there. But equally other days I think “perhaps I will have a slow run today” and then I get going and I run well. The big thing I have found with running is that my self judgement is awful.
Last Sunday I went for a run about 5pm. Normally, it is as soon as I get up. It was kind of a bonus run as I had intended having a day off after a long run the day before. The dog needed a walk and I decided as I fancied a run we might as well go for a quick run. I figured I would just do a short route so I set off assuming I was going to run 1.5 miles and not 2.5. My phone reads off my time and distance every 3 minutes. The distance is unreliable but I am getting used to my check marks. And I noticed I was much further down my route than expected so at the point of no return 6 minutes in I decided to run my 2.5mile route instead. My legs felt so good and I ended up with a new PB of 18:10. This was despite wind on the top field. Was it because I had had a couple of biscuits? Was it because I didn’t like not running that morning? Was it because I was resting most of the day and then had a hypnotherapy session and now had physical energy to burn?
Life is far too complex to decide. There are so many factors that could have influenced my speed.
This morning I set of with some speed again and hit the same 3minute check mark. I was good at 6 minutes too. Then at 9 and 12 I started to wonder if I wasn’t up to speed. At 15 I knew it wouldn’t be a new PB but pushed hard. I expected to see 18:20 at the end and then when I stopped it was 18:39. I was stunned. I had no idea what had happened. Again my mind can come up with plenty of reasons. Perhaps I didn’t push hard enough between 9-15mins. I was running in half light. I had trouble deciding a route through some fellow dog walkers because some dogs were on a lead and some were not. Perhaps I just wasn’t able to keep going today.
What is certain is I will never know what the factors were for today. It is not possible to redo the day with exactly the same conditions and vary just one possibility. We all get hunches. We have theories but we don’t know.
You can train to pigeons to tap a target in order to get a seed. We can put the pigeon in a cage with a random seed dropper and the pigeon will try taping the target. The pigeon realises something is different in this cage and starts trying to work it out. It can end up doing strange things like turning around in a circle and then tapping the target. If it happens to work once or twice the pigeon starts to believe that is the answer.
This is why footballers can have lucky pants.
I wore a St Christopher from the age of 14 until I lost my last one just over a year ago. When I first lost one I wasn’t too bothered about St Christopher not protecting me when traveling and then something happened (that I have long forgotten) and I decide I better get another St Christopher to protect me. I probably broke my chain another 3 times after that and I always rushed to get another. Last year I thought to myself “how stupid, I am a hypnotherapist, I know what is going on. I can live without a St Christopher” and didn’t wear it. For days I found myself playing with the chain that wasn’t there but eventually I have forgotten about that dependency.
I can’t help being amused by the idea that writing this might get me “jinxed” and then have people saying “see I told you, St Christopher does protect you. You should have worn it”. But even if it was the case I would still argue that I was fine for a year and no one knows when my time is up.
When we have fears and phobias when we believe someone has done something bad to us on purpose (Road rage is a great case) we would all be better if we thought “I can guess what happened but the chances are it is more complex than I can perceive. I will therefore just to believe a case that is in my best interest”. Since any theory we come up with might or might not be right and it is probably a case that is less likely than the one we first think off why choose ones that annoy us, frustrate us, hinder our ability to move forward? Why not just think what solution is best for me and if it is conceivable work on that assumption? If someone really did want to annoy you and you are positive and happy or respond nicely to them it will make you feel good and it will baffle them. Perhaps it will even inspire them to follow your model.]]>
As is often the way I click send and then I start picking it apart. I feel this a productive thing to do so that is fine. What I find really interesting is how I am so fallible in my own thinking. If I were to see a client write what I did I might pick up on the following:
“I still need to sleep 2 hours during the day and this is something I have yet to overcome” – How do you know you need this? What happens if you have needed it on all previous occasions you tested it but you didn’t need it in the future? Would you notice? Is it possible you have not noticed in the past?
I would come back at myself and say “Yes I have done lots of testing and I do need it. I know the days I have not taken the extra sleep are the days are the ones I have struggled all day and got less done”
And I would counter argue “You know? So you are still predicting a negative future? Why not predict a positive one?”
And I would probably think “Damn, you got me, why am I not trying this out”]]>
One of the main topics of the book is the amount of injuries runners get and the fact these injuries have been on the increase since we have started wearing more advanced running shoes.
The book advocates going back to basic flat shoes which when I search the internet I see can still be expensive like VIBRAM – FiveFingers. The argument of the book is that these basic shoes allow our bones and muscles in our feet to work correctly whereas cushioned running shoes that protect us from impacts mean we lose the feeling of what we are doing. If a runner used to cushioned shoes switches to “barefoot” shoes then they will be more aware of discomfort and need to naturally adjust their running style to keep going. When we are cushioned our feet get deconditioned and we can develop faults in our running style that then cause injuries. Apparently in any Marathon 9 out of 10 runners will be injured at some point in any one year period. People running “barefoot” however tend to get far fewer injuries.
I can believe this this line of thinking because it matches my experience with my back. I have suffered from ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome) since 1994. (While I am now a runner again I still am learning to crack the mental and physical exhaustion. I often need to sleep after a run which is not a normal reaction to this kind of tiredness). From mid 1994 till November 2008 I was on painkillers for my back. In November 2008 I finished my required training to be a hypnotherapist and I decided “if I can help people with pain control I better see what I can do with myself”.
I was on 7 Co-codamol and 3 Ibrufen a day. I decided to stop taking them. Instead I used a trance every time I felt uncomfortable. I got through the first day and took some painkillers at 9pm so I could sleep. I woke at 1am and took some more. The next day used trance and then took some painkillers at 9pm. The third day my daughter visited and I didn’t have much time to work on myself but I still chose not to take any more painkillers and I didn’t take any until I have an operation 16 months later. For three weeks I experiment with all the techniques I knew but within 5 days noticed I was more comfortable than when I was on the painkillers. By three weeks I was bored and not actively doing anything for my back.
From time to time I will get little aches. I am often aware when lifting things that I tweak my back. Even getting out of the chair in the living room can give it a little twinge. All the time however I have focused on having a comfortable back that is getting stronger and healthier and these twinges are minor events which I view as a warning to adjust something.
My view is because I wanted to be comfortable my unconscious mind is helping find good postures and exercise to keep my back in a free comfortable moving state. In the past with pain control I just blotted out the problem and therefore kept the uncomfortable posture which possibly put my body under stress and helped keep me more tired than I needed to be for my illness.
To me this is exactly what is being suggested for barefoot running.
As a hypnotherapist I love watching for signs of principle I use in hypnotherapy in real life. The link with my back pain and the suggested reason for barefoot running come from different places but seem to have common principles in common. It doesn’t matter both these theories ultimately turn out to be wrong because they have both helped me more forward physically with my illness and that is all that counts.
What ideas can you link to improve your health or make your dreams easier to reach?]]>