Happy Holidays: 5 Tips for a No-Weight-Gain Christmas

With breath-taking speed the holiday season is here!

This party season, I’m challenging myself to commit to five small changes to avoid the holiday weight gain trap.

I’d love you to join me.

These five simple changes can make a huge difference in how you experience the ‘silly season’ and set you up for a no-weight-gain holiday.

1. Stop giving yourself ‘permission’ to put on weight

There’s nothing like the extra stress of Christmas and plentiful festive treats to bring out our negative internal dialogue.

“I have zero willpower with Santa chocolate, I’m guaranteed to put on 5kgs over Chrissy.”

If you give yourself ‘permission’ to put on weight over the holiday – guess what? You will!

Instead, make a commitment to eat mindfully, slowly and enjoy every mouthful.

Once you make that commitment, nourishing decisions are easier.

2. Move your body every day

We all know this one…but I’m going to remind you anyway.

Our bodies were designed to move and being sedentary makes our metabolism sluggish.

Why not commit to 15 minutes of movement every day? Maybe it’s zumba, perhaps it’s playing tennis with your cousins or getting those lawns in tip top condition.

The key is to keep it simple – do not overcomplicate it.

Just get your body moving – even a 10-minute stroll does wonders for your body.

You’ll relieve stress, offset holiday weight gain, and get yourself in a terrific routine for 2015.

3. Make your first drink water

Upon arriving at a party, make your first drink water. I know it sounds a wee bit dull because the drinks table can be calling us.

But when you start your evening with a glass of water – you’ll delay getting tipsy and make smarter choices all evening.

I get it – it does sound a wee bit pedestrian!

But it works and your head and body will thank you in the morning when you wake up, hangover-less.

4. Get a good night sleep

Studies show if you get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep a night you’re more likely to experience increased appetite, cravings, and pleasure signals for high-calorie foods.

5. Express your gratitude

Even if you’re going through a tough time – maybe Santa didn’t deliver or perhaps money / time / nerves feel stretched. We all still have oooooodles for which to be grateful.

Gratitude fosters happy endorphins. So every evening, as you’re brushing your teeth, pause and reflect on “What touched my heart today?”

The more specific you can be, the more you’ll benefit from the heightened feeling of appreciation.

The festive season is a time of celebration, love and gifts. Why not use these five tips so that you can give yourself the greatest gift of all – that of health?

Wishing you all happy, healthy holidays!

Love etc, Avril

PS: If you’re tired of struggling with eating or exercise habits that keep you overweight and need a hand changing them so you can be the shape and size you want to be, drop me a line. Why not let 2015 be the year you create the body you love?

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How To Drop A Dress Size By Silencing Those Pesky Inner Critics

Nothing takes the spring out of our step more quickly than a critical comment made by the wrong person at the wrong time.

How ironic then that the meanest critic we encounter is the one living in our own heads!

Imagine this…

You’re strolling down the street and a stranger yells, “Hey you…ya fat, useless, undeserving lump of good-for-nothing…..” as they drive past.

You’d respond, right? Course you would – with something witty, big and clever.

Since you’re a classy gal, you might not respond out loud. But you’d certainly ‘talk back’ in your head.

So why-oh-why do we not talk back to the inner critic that yells in our own head?

Day after day, we crucify ourselves with nit-picking, de-motivating meanness – to which we do not respond!

We take it on the chin and keep walking.

But, like anyone who’s subjected to a barrage of criticism, we feel bruised and battered – which leads to comfort eating as a form of anaesthesia. Hello vending machine or that third helping of chocolate cake.

Well, don’t we?!

Speaking to you as a reformed comfort eater, it is absolutely vital that you start having a meaningful conversation with your inner critic.

If you don’t learn how to question the validity of its accusations, you’ll continue to hen-peck yourself with mean monologues.

And overeating and self-medicating with food will continue unabated.

Accusations of the inner critic

Our inner critics are conversationally limited. The usual topic is you and your apparent imperfections, like

- Unless you’re Size 6, you’re deeply, deeply flawed.
- If they knew the ‘real’ you, they’d leave you.
- You’re just not good enough, so bring on the lack of confidence.
- If you fail at something, it’s because YOU’RE a failure.

How’d you go?

If you nodded your head to all of the accusations (maybe even added a bunch of your own), you’re in good company.

It is a light-bulb moment for many women to realise that just because there’s a voice in your head –you don’t need to listen to it!

Or, as Cheri Huber points out:

“That voice in your head is not the voice of God. It just sounds like it is.”

You are NOT the conversation you have with yourself in your mind.

If you’re thinking, “What conversation? What is Avril talking about?”

That one!

So now you’ve identified it, here’s how you can mute your inner critic so you can get on with igniting your thinner sparkle.

Taming the inner critic

The next time your head fills with disapproving voices, simply say, “next, please”.  Just because there’s a voice in your head doesn’t mean you have to listen to its pontifications.

You’d wouldn’t bother listening to a track on a CD you don’t enjoy, so why listen to thoughts in your head that you don’t enjoy?

Some clients take a stronger approach to handling their inner critics.

“Sod off!!!” works particularly well.

Or, the stronger, “Foxtrot-Uniform-Charlie-Kilo Off” can also be yelled at persistent negative thoughts.

It’s YOUR head, you get to chose which tracks to play. Take ownership – chose the soundtrack to your day.

Find out what works for you. Get creative and discover the specific wording that moves you into a resourceful emotional space when your inner critic starts yapping.

STOP the self abuse + drop a dress size

It’s a curious aspect of human behaviour that we are willing to take more abuse from ourselves than we would ever accept from anyone else.

Over the next week pay particular attention to how you talk to yourself. As you notice the inner critic voice, take back your power by talking back.

Life is short.

And it’s also too darn long to live in a body at your unhappy weight or carry an inner voice that is critical.

So go on….have a chat with your inner critic and get your thinner sparkle on.

Love etc, Avril

PS: If you recognise that you have mean inner critic and you realise you need a helping hand to silence it, hypnotherapy can help. Why not drop me a line so you can ditch the inner critic and drop a dress size…..

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The Perfectionist’s Guide to Weight Loss, Getting Stuff Done + Life in General

“Stop complicating the sh*t out of everything,” he said, matter-of-factly.

Not for the first time, my brother’s simple logic nudged me in the butt.

It left a bruise.

See, I have this thing.

There’s a good chance you have it too.

It’s a nasty little mind-virus. It can steal your energy, rob you of your courage and cause low-grade depression.

Perfectionism is its name.

It is b.r.u.t.a.l.

I meet countless women who unwittingly prevent themselves from losing weight (or living a happy life) because of this need to “do it perfectly”.

For example, when a perfectionist has one biscuit, the mind-virus screams,

“You’ve totally blown it now, you may as well scoff the entire packet… eat everything in the pantry, why don’t you….you’re no longer perfect, right?”

Perfectionists tend to overanalyse, second-guess and complicate everything, which results in them forgetting to do the very thing they need to do to lose weight…

…..as in, DO something.

If you’re a perfectionist, you know the heavy truth. Another year passes. You’re still overweight.

It gives me great pleasure to share with you ….recovery is possible.

“My name is Avril, I’m a recovering perfectionist…. hello everyone.”

That’s the first step: awareness. Until you acknowledge a behaviour  - and it is something you are doing – you can’t treat it.

When you’re aware of the sneaky mind-virus you can start treatment.

Prescription for Little Miss Perfects

Replace perfectionism with imperfectionism. That’s it…become a Little Miss Imperfect and make progress – not perfection – your new target. It’ll set you free.

“How can something as simple as focusing on progress make a difference?” says the (former) perfectionist in you.

See.

There you go complicating the sh*t out of everything, again.

Stop it, sister!!!

Remember your new focus is progress (not perfection).

Progress is tangible. It’s about taking action (however much you stumble). It means always looking for the next stretch or improvement. It’s about moving closer to your target one step at a time.

6 unexpected benefits of embracing imperfection

- You finally see your inner critic for what it is…. your very own Success Prevention Expert. Ouch.

- You lower the bar. You start to live in the moment, without any judgement. Fun, freedom and joy is allowed and you actually end up doing a fabulous job. How ironic.

- You focus your attention on the process itself. You quit obsessing about the outcome. Paradoxically, you increase your chance of success because you stay in the game.

- You get things done imperfectly. You tweak and fix and repeat. You become unstoppable.

- You finally understand there are no mistakes. Feedback is what it’s all about, baby.

- Yes, you do master your craft. You do achieve your weight goals. Because you gave yourself room to practice, you’re learning and growing, and you’re still taking action.

You’re moving closer to your weight goal because you aren’t over-complicating the sh*t out of everything. Step by imperfect step.

Imperfect love, etc, Avril

PS: If you’re a perfectionist and you’re ready to embrace the slimmer, fitter, healthier you – hypnotherapy might be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Why not drop me (an imperfect) line over here….c’mon over.

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