Thursday, 27 August 2020

Overeating. How Can we Control this Habitual Destruction


Overeating! Why Can't We Stop?

We all do it? Eat until we can eat no more. Is this a bad habit or is there more to it than we realise? There can be many reasons that we over-eat. Food can be a comfort for emotional issues such as a negative body image, stress, anger and boredom so we turn to food for consolation. Overeating can be habitual too. We tend to live a sedentary lifestyle in our modern day life, working all day (perhaps in an office) and then our evenings are spent in front of the TV snacking. We blame food for being the addiction......but maybe it's the 'eating' that has become the addiction?

Thoughts on Food

Food.......where does your mind wonder when this word is mentioned? Food has become a profitable consumer product. There are adverts everywhere you look.....tantalising T.V commercials, teasing magazine articles, tempting pop-up online cannot avoid the sights, sounds and the smell of food. Our bodies are tested 24 hours a day trying to resist temptation. We no longer use food as a fuel for our bodies to live and function. Yes, it is nice to enjoy the foods we eat but we need food for energy and we need to remember when to stop. The 'diet' industry have us all hooked on various ways to lose weight and what we should eat.......counting calories, eating as much as you like of certain foods, restricting others, only eating certain foods at certain times, macronutrients and micronutrients.........we have tried them all AND this is the problem. The cycle of diet, no diet, guilt, binge..........Oh what the hell "I will start again on Monday".....Destruction!!

Habitual Eating

Habits are easy to form but a little harder to break. Habitual eating can be defeated with new habits or 'rescheduling' activities to avoid slipping back in to your 'old ways'. Mindless eating in front of the TV, eating cake at 4pm, late night snacks when you come home from a night out.....these are all bad habits that can be exchanged for 'good habits'. Think of the things that you love to do and have no time in the day to do them? Or the things you would love to do or enjoy doing but feel you have more important things to do before your own pleasure and entertainment. For me it's writing, fresh air, reading and researching.....these are my pleasures. My projects (that I enjoy doing) but feel I have no time to do, are sorting my travel photos into albums, learning a language and researching destinations I would love to travel to and explore. I no longer watch the T.V (maybe a video or film occasionally), this use to be the time I would eat mindlessly. I now do the things I love to do and have broken my destructive habits in the process. This is my own path but you need to chose yours. Think about the times that your habitual eating habits occur and try to replace them with something you enjoy or a project you long to do.

Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is a lot harder to control. Food is the comfort for so many of our feelings, some very deep routed. Food is also responsible for our guilt.......comfort at the beginning but self loathing to follow. We were taught from a young age that overeating is 'greedy' even 'disgusting' and sweet food is a 'treat' or a 'reward' for 'being good'. There is no surprise when our emotions are out of control and we reach for food (we feel the need to treat ourselves at our lowest moments) and then despise ourselves for being 'greedy and disgusting'. The cycle is so damaging. In this unkind society of 'looking for perfection' and disregard for those who are not flawless just push these 'deep routed' issues to uncontrollable levels.This severely affects individuals mental health and emotional concerns. If you suffer from emotional overeating you must always remember:

  • you do not have 100% control over your food consumption and weight gain
  • it is not your fault for overeating and gaining weight
  • it is not purely will power that controls moderation, weight loss and nutritional health.
There are some remedies to help those who struggle with emotional overeating such as finding the 'triggers' that drive you to over-eat. Holistic remedies can help with anger issues, boredom and stress and with practice, can calm these 'triggers'. Counselling can support and advise for deep routed issues.

Diets and Overeating

With the publications of 'ever changing' Government guidelines and the promotion of obesity, diabetes and heart health wonder there is a 'boom' in the diet industry. Are diets good for us? The answer is 'No'. Diets are rigid and normally contain 'restrictions' of some foods. This automatically labels certain foods as 'bad'. This is not educating us in anyway. Food is not 'good' or 'bad' and should never be deemed as either. We need to learn which foods are nutritional, which foods our own bodies require and re-educate ourselves on when we have eaten enough. Any restrictions we place on food will lead to a desire for something forbidden. This is the sole reason why a diet will work for a while and continue on to failure. The best attack on eating addictions is to find the foods that we enjoy eating mixed with nutritious plant based, fibrous foods, for a filling and healthy lifestyle. Enjoy treats that are sweet or savoury in small amounts but do not ban them completely. It's so pleasing when a celebrity promotes healthy eating rather than endorsing a 'fad diet'. Dolly Parton for example, has a history of dieting and binge eating. She has been all shapes and sizes and she is quite open about her struggles with food addiction. She is now happy, healthy and 'addiction' free after realising that diets are not the answer:

"She eats whatever she has a craving for in VERY SMALL Quantities. She says that the only good diet is the one you can stick with. This was the compromise that “Dolly the movie star was able to make with Dolly the pig that has kept both sides reasonably satisfied.” Dolly Parton Weight-Loss Secrets

Healthy eating is a lifestyle. There are many different ways to eat, foods to choose, times to eat and cooking preferences......these are the choices we need to make. One style of eating will suit one person, yet not suit another, there is no 'one suits all' approach with nutrition. Portion sizes, fibre, fruit and vegetables, proteins and healthy fats will feed the body with the right amount of food for energy and repair whilst stabilising body weight. Make food choices and healthy habits with your lifestyle in mind, so you are able to manage meals, cravings and snacks without causing difficulties or stress.  I have written an article on fibre and it's importance Fibre and Weight Loss that will explain how fibrous foods are filling and will help with weight loss and a healthy gut.


The reasons for overeating can be caused by several issues. Our emotions can lead us to comfort eating, which initially helps to sooth our feelings but can actually enhance the problem with self-loathing. Sometimes we are not even hungry but constant visuals on T.V, social media and magazines entice and tempt us to eat when we do not need to. Continual dieting leads to a destructive cycle of overeating and restrictions. Finding a healthy way of eating to suit our lifestyle, including all the foods we enjoy and find pleasure in every meal we prepare, is the best 'diet' we can reward our bodies. No food is a 'bad' food and should not be labelled as such. If we crave a food, we should have just a little of 'what we fancy' rather than ban it totally. Try to exchange habitual eating for good healthy habits and break the cycle of guilt


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Thursday, 20 August 2020

Set a Challenge for Self Help


Challenging Yourself Can Lead to Your Own Personal Growth

Rediscover 'you' by challenging yourself to change. These challenges do not have to take a lifetime. Challenges can take place for just 3 to 5 days to acquire a 'taste', or you could set yourself a 30 day's your personal growth challenge and for you to decide. Setting challenges will help to increase your own self-esteem, create belief in yourself and build upon your knowledge for all that interests you

Challenge your Habits

A challenge can be the motivational tool to set you up for a small change or equally a whole lifestyle change. In my private facebook group Healthy Forever Fitness Motivation Private Group we are presently in the middle of a '5 Day Challenge'. An introduction to building healthy habits. The challenge is for a short period of time, but with a 'lifetime' change in mind. The challenge is the motivational tool...... the habit changes are aiming for the lifetime goal of improving our health in everyday life. The support of a group is an additional plus if you are taking part in a challenge. You may prefer to set yourself a challenge and hold yourself accountable......but again, the choice is yours because its for your own self growth. Challenges can re-programme our 'negative' thoughts into very 'positive' reflections. How many times do we use these excuses? "I don't have the time", "I am too tired" or "I am too busy"? A short or well planned challenge will be structured to fit into your everyday activities and schedules to help you feel accomplished and satisfied with your results.

Challenge Your Self-Worth

This is a more sensitive challenge and takes practice for adults to realise their own self-worth. As an adult, we procure bad habits through our years. For example we listen and believe our critical 'inner voice' or 'others peoples' perception of us and what we do. We have to challenge both of these 'internal' and 'external' factors for our own self care and personal growth. One very positive 'self-care' practice is to complete a gratitude journal Presently Journal app. This little tool will help to focus on the 'positive' activities of our daily life. Although this takes a little practice, it will challenge you to revoke any negative thoughts and alter your belief patterns. You may wonder how a few words written in a journal can have such a significant impact on your self-worth. This simple practice has many benefits in helping your daily struggles of striving towards positive mental health. Reflecting on the days as you read through your journal will increase 'positive vibes' around you and the realisation that the simple things in life make you happy. The kind acts of others will make you happy, your own influence on others will make you happy.....suddenly the 'negative vibes' will no longer exist as you complete your journal. This practice will help you to realise that external critics will not invade your own peace. Their views and words will become meaningless, as you learn to react differently to criticism, to insults and to personal digs. You will re-learn and recognise your own self-worth by reminding yourself regularly of the following:
  1. You do not need to please people in anyway? If you have done your best, been as kind as you can and have given as much as you can, then you can do no more than this.
  2. It doesn't matter what people say or do, regardless of how hurtful or cutting it alone can control how you feel about yourself. 
  3. You alone can respond to events or have the power to do this with your internal resources and the reflection of your own self-value and self-worth.
  4. Your value in is your journal......your own positivity, your happiness and your gratitude in your daily life. 

Challenge Overthinking so destructive to everything around you, your relationships, work, friends, holidays and so much more. It's as intrusive to those around you as it it to your 'own being'. We know why can't we just STOP. This is where setting yourself a challenge or challenges will end this damaging behaviour. Set yourself deadlines for any 'overthinking' time that is disturbing your peace and try sticking to it

Overthinking Active Challenge List
  • For minor activities - such as making an awkward call, answering a tricky email, filing paperwork or sorting your inbox....the smaller things that play on your mind. Give yourself just one minute to decide whether you will attempt the task in hand. Spend no longer than one minute on this decision. Either make the call......or just leave it and think no more.
  • For Major Activities - the bigger problems in life that take longer to tackle such as financial issues that worry you (pensions, overdrafts, loans, mortgages), family issues etc......give yourself a time slot of 45 minutes to an hour (with pen and paper if this helps). Talk your problems through, make a plan or solve your problem in that time slot. Make sure that you set a time during your leisure hours rather than a stressful part of your day......a time when you are less likely to be distracted or disturbed. Plan the time that is best for you to function and concentrate on the issue at hand. Spend no longer than an hour and if the issue is not resolved, put it to one side until the next time. Make a note in your diary and do not spend anymore time overthinking.
  • Multitasking - this is a big NO for over-thinkers. Do not try and do more than one thing at a time. Most over-thinkers try and do too many activities in a day and create more stress than is necessary. Learn to say NO to extra pressure on an already overloaded mind. If it cannot be done today......then leave it until tomorrow. Your mental health is more important. Practice these words " No I cannot do this today, however I am happy to attempt this tomorrow or when I have the spare time to do so" Make a note in your diary and complete this request or activity at a time you choose.
  • Mindfulness  - this takes a little practice. Living in the present stops the mind wondering to the issues we are trying to avoid. By practising mindfulness, our thoughts are tuned into the present moment rather than reciting the past or visualising the future. Have a read of my article Stress, Mindfulness and Health . You will find tips and mindfulness techniques to practice and help calm overthinking minds.
  • Out of Your Hands - Some situations or life events are completely out of your control. No amount of overthinking will change this type of scenario. "Learn to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference"
  • Sleeping - An over-thinkers nightmare (pardon the pun). Bedtime is possibly the worse time for the brain to become it's most active. Always have a notepad beside your bed. As your problems and worries enter your them down in your notepad...transfer your thoughts from your head to your pad and leave them there until the morning. Start this practice as soon as possible and re-train your brain. Use the above methods to deal with the issues you have jotted down in your pad. Writing down your problems instead of leaving them to swirl around and around like is a huge spiral inside your mind will help towards a better nights sleep.
This challenge is important for you to break the habit of overthinking. Work through your worries in a methodical fashion, use mindfulness to stop overloading your mind and use your note pad to put your thoughts on hold. Most over-thinkers are kind people wanting to please everyone. This act of kindness is not possible. Try to be kind to yourself.


Setting ourselves regular challenges will enhance personal growth, keep life interesting, help us to achieve goals, increase self awareness, help us with self-esteem and self-value. We can exchange bad habits for good, stop the destructive nature of overthinking and self destruction.......all very positive. Fear does not have to be the factor or excuse for not setting yourself challenges? We have a make ourselves accountable, or join a group for support. No challenge is a failure......we learn from our challenges....about ourselves and our own limits. We can make adjustments from the results of our challenges, understand how to manage our time and most importantly, how to be kind to ourselves. 


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Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Health, Motivation and Social Media


The Best Side of Social Media
Social Media is now a big influence in all our lives.....whether it's uniting with friends or posting photos of amazing places we have visited. We all have a least one social media account....even the most 'technophobic' among us will have at least some form of 'chat' app on their phone. There are many negatives associated with social media.......but lets look at the positive side of communal connection.

Support from a 'Like Minded' Group on Social Media

Back in the day if you were studying hard or had a great interest in an unusual could be very lonely. Frustration and lack of information could be very de-motivating and depressing for many. With the rise of 'group' media, like-minded people have found valuable support and knowledge to help them through their most difficult times. The younger generation have a support group to turn to during exam times and those who are retired can fire up their interests and hobbies with the extra time they have gained. With technology as it is now, 'Events' can be posted to raise interest and join people together at a set date and time, whether its a 'live' event or a social gathering. This has helped peoples mental health knowing they can reach out to those who understand, or finding a group of compatible companions.

Beautiful and Motivational Photographs on Social Media

Feeling a bit down? There are so many beautiful social media pages that inspire, delight and lift our spirits, for example the above facebook page. If we need a bit of peace and calm in our lives, or even at certain times of our busy day, then a focus on a 'visual' can be enough to bring us to a certain tranquillity and harmony. We may need inspiration so we can search for ideas or articles to awaken our imagination and fill us with energy to tackle the task ahead. All this accessible from our phones......something we do not leave home without.

Motivation and Goal Setting Social Media

What better 'motivational' tool can there be..... other than declaring your goals, making yourself accountable and having support behind you all the way. Many people have achieved phenomenal goals.......just by 'setting them in stone'.......or in this case.... on 'social media'. Everything you need to reach your ultimate goal is there in one place.......a social media group. You have the backing of friends or your group, help and advice from those who have possibly been in the same position as you, encouragement, audience participation, a platform for your progress and a journal with photos and memories of your journey.

Specialised Social Media Groups

Whether you choose a certain way of eating, need support and encouragement with your health and fitness or specialise in a sport or type of training......there is a group purely for you. These are support groups, motivational groups, advice and knowledge groups......all rolled into one. They are fun, usually with a lot of interaction from all group members and have a community feel. Events are organised and these online groups normally meet in person too, which makes these groups quite special. Many 'big named' companies set up these type of social media groups, to bring people together in one place to share news, information and special events......sometimes this extends world wide. 

Private Groups on Social Media

Private Social Media groups normally involve a personal invite or invitation from a friend within the group. There are usually a couple of questions on your request to join......this is a security safety measure for the administrators to review and protect the private group from scammers, trolls and false selling before accepting any new members. These groups are for like minded people with a valid interest in a personal subject. There is always a lot of interaction within a group, a great sense of community spirit and a feeling of safety and privacy. Members feel more comfortable sharing their issues, motivation methods or fears in a closed group. Private Groups are a good investment of our time and worth exploring to find that 'little niche' of harmony and united interest. Please feel free to join my private group Healthy Forever Fitness Motivation Group where you will find motivation, challenges to help you build healthy lifetime habits, interaction, Q&A sessions, advice on exercise whether you are just starting out or an experienced exerciser, nutritional advice and a group of friendly, nice bunch of people. 


Not all 'social media' is just have to find your niche. There are the general and popular 'social media' platforms that reach wider communities such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter. However there are the 'social media groups' (sometimes within these platforms) that house the smaller groups, where you can find all the motivation, support, advice and community spirit that you need. There are some beautiful, calming and peaceful media pages and groups that can help you mentally to the more energetic, challenging groups that will help you physically. Don't get 'stuck in a rut' of negativity but have a search around this big social media platform to find your little 'slot' of positivity.

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