Emotional Eating

Eating photo

Photo by FootMassagez

Why Is Emotional Eating So Difficult to Give Up?

Essentially, all diet plans and fitness programs advise you to just reduce calories, increase exercise or do a detox according to some cherry-picked data they trawled from a scientific journal.

For dysfunctional eaters, however, maintaining this regime for more than a day, a week or even a month is simply impossible. The primal urge to eat is just too strong.  Food has become a psychological tool, a way to avoid feelings that are too intense or anxiety-provoking.  If you haven’t learned how to cope with your life and your emotions in a way that doesn’t include overeating or incorrect eating, you will normally not be able to stick to any diet plan for very long.  While things are going smoothly in your life you may be able to stick to your new eating plan but, when life presents a more serious challenge, you’ll inevitably turn back to your old reliable comfort tool of preference – food. Recognise that you are now doing something incredibly positive about it! Every step on the pathway counts. So take a small step. Then another. Be kind to yourself. Stop poisoning your body. Learn to treat it with a little respect and it will reward you with amazing health and vitality.

Don’t get trapped in the downward food spiral!

Using emotionally motivated eating to deal with feelings, however, creates a vicious cycle and a potential downward spiral. Food allows you to shut out the world and ignore your problems, forget your challenges and block out life’s unpleasantness – for a while. But when problems are left unattended they tend to become more serious. They get out of hand. This is scary and it makes you binge and overeat and then, on top of your original problem, you’re filled with guilt and self-loathing too. And the cycle easily spirals out of control because then you need food to deal with the guilt as well as the original problem.  Yes, food can serve as a fabulous quick fix. It can bring immediate relief and pleasure, but it doesn’t take long to see that one cookie, chocolate, sweet or fast food experience simply doesn’t do it.  You end up needing more and more to fill up the emptiness from living a life devoid of self-expression, real fulfillment and inner awareness and tranquility.

Take a moment to think about your absolute ideal life. How would you look? Where would you be? What would you be doing? Write it all down and then decide which of those images is the most exciting for you. Now take a step – no matter how small – to move yourself in the direction of that vision. Let your new vision become your personal goal. Refer to your new ‘ideal life’ vision every single day and take a daily step to make it a reality.

Eat Right

Eating photo

Check what kind of an eater you are in this quiz!

Uncontrolled Eating can be very well described via the following statements:

We eat to suppress our feelings of fear, guilt, resentment, worry, irritation etc.

We chose comfort food like cakes and biscuits and sweets because we felt we needed/deserved it and then feel guilty about it.

We eat badly to punish our bodies for some imagined failure in our lives.

This is a great moment to work through a simple quiz to determine whether you are in fact an emotional eater or someone who uses food to cope with the stresses of life.

Are You a Bad Habit Eater?

To find out if you’re an emotional eater, answer the following five questions.

The last time you ate too much:

  1. When you needed to eat, did you feel a desperate and urgent need to eat something right away?
  2. When you ate, did you enjoy the taste of every bite, or did you just stuff it in?
  3. When you got hungry, did you need a certain type of food to satisfy yourself?
  4. Did you feel guilty after you ate the same day or the next day?
  5. Did you eat when you were emotionally upset or felt that you “deserved” it?

Let’s see how you did…

  1. Physical hunger begins slowly, then it becomes stronger and finally it evolves into hunger pangs, but it’s a slow process, very different from emotional hunger, which has a sense of urgency.
  2. There is a major difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger and it involves a degree of awareness.  To satisfy physical hunger you normally make a deliberate choice about what you eat and you maintain awareness whilst you’re eating.  If you have emotional hunger, you won’t notice how much you are eating or the taste and you will still want more food even after you’re full.
  3. Emotional hunger often demands very specific foods in order to be fulfilled.  If you’re physically hungry, even a salad will look delicious.  If you’re emotionally hungry, however, only your specific and possibly toxic choice will seem appealing.
  4. Emotional eating often results in guilt.  Physical hunger has no guilt attached to it because you know you ate in order to maintain energy.
  5. Emotional hunger results from some emotional trigger.  Physical hunger results from a biological need.

Find out The Real Reason You’re So Hungry – It’s Imaginary Hunger!

Did your answers to the five questions above reveal that you might be an emotional eater?  Did you discover that you’ve been confusing emotional hunger with real, biological hunger?  If so, the first question becomes – why?

The best way to explain what’s going on is to consider that when you eat when you aren’t really hungry, it’s because you have two stomachs – one is real, the other imaginary.  The hunger in your stomach is a signal to your brain that you need to re-fuel. It occurs when your system has a biological requirement for food.  If that was the only signal of hunger you received, you’d be healthily slim.  It’s the imaginary stomach that causes the problems.  The imaginary stomach sends out a signal demanding food as a result of complex and possibly negative emotions and unsolved problems. This is the moment when your stress and personal issues begin to assert themselves and you feel compelled to eat. Or, more accurately, to stuff yourself and anaesthetise the feelings of discomfort.  Imaginary hunger exerts such a powerful influence that it compels you to eat almost anything to satisfy it.

There are certainly moments when each of us doesn’t really know what to do with ourselves. It can happen after work, when we are alone, late at night or even over the weekend. Does that sound familiar or do you have other triggers that compel you to sidle over to the fridge?  All emotional eaters have specific issues that they want to avoid and, when those issues arise, the imaginary tummy howls with insistent urgency and you suddenly find yourself possessed by an out of control urge to eat.

This knowledge can be immensely helpful in casting light on our deeper drives and behaviours. Releasing judgments about ourselves because we’ve been conditioned to see ourselves as failures is an important step in conquering our stubborn weight issues. Learn to understand why you’ve behaved the way you have in the past and resolve to introduce the changes that will put you back in control of your weight and your life.

Don’t Panic

Create your own personal suggestion

As a suggestion, your new description should begin with the words ‘I am….’ That’s a great way to get your subconscious to pay attention. ‘I am…’ Now add a strong, positive emotion to spark a response from the amygdala: ‘I am joyfully….’ Best to put in a verb now, something to express action: ‘I am joyfully living life to the full in my trim, slim, super strong body’ It’s just an example but I want you to make your own power statement right now and start encoding it into your internal dialogue by repeating it over and over.

Notice how it makes you feel? It has to make you feel good. That’s the positive buzz we need from your limbic system and now your amygdala is working for your wellbeing instead of against it. The new mantra might not fulfil all of your goals on its own but it will remove many of the internal obstacles that conspire to get in the way of success. Repeat your mantra. All the time. Until it’s always there. You now have your own private cheer-leading team, giving you support, enthusiasm and encouragement from within. They’re working for you now. All the time.

Whilst you’re introducing better thoughts and feelings and images into your personal transformation programme, we should make a few observations about your posture too. It’s one of those subjects that is too easy to neglect but, if we make a couple of subtle changes to how you hold yourself, we can create better feelings and responses throughout the rest of your body.

Learn to relax

Let’s remember that humans respond at a very deep level to posture and we’re going to start with your shoulders. If you’ve noticed that you tend to slouch or slump forwards, don’t worry. Pretty much everyone suffers from the same appalling posture! All you need to do is move your shoulders a few millimetres backwards. That’s all.

No exaggerated movement, please! Just a few millimetres to the back to open your chest and lungs and give you a more confident and expansive feeling. We usually feel a lot more positive when we open up our shoulders so give it a try. The movement encourages you to feel more relaxed, less stressed and more reasonable.

And that means more calming input from the prefrontal cortex and fewer impulsive urges from the limbic system. Self control, long term success and goal fulfilment all come from our good friend, the prefrontal cortex. Let’s give it every opportunity to do its job and put us firmly back in control of our weight issues. So relax your shoulders and move them back a few millimetres.

We could focus on so many parts of the body when we explore the issue of posture but if we focus instead on a few, key areas, we can achieve great results. The shoulders are always a good starting point. Your jaw muscles can help too because if you can learn to relax your jaw, you’ll notice an immediate reduction in overall physical tension.

Yes, we’re reducing those familiar signs of stress that trigger impulses from the limbic system. We’re learning to manage our posture and tame our tension. Unlocking the jaw muscles sends a message to the rest of the body that we can relax and humans are so much more rational, efficient and creative when they’re relaxed – we need to relax the jaw!

If we’re letting go of tension in the shoulders and the jaw, let’s complete the set by relaxing the butt muscles. If you’re not familiar with the stress patterns that affect human physiology, the idea of relaxing the glutes might seem a little strange. But we tense those muscles whenever we perceive danger – real or imaginary – so the moment that we relax the rear end, we immediately send a signal to the body that spells out the message to reduce overall stress.

That’s incredibly helpful because the more we turn down the stress response, the more we access the calming, rational, reasoning part of the brain that helps us to make and maintain great decisions. It’s how we stay on track and fulfil our plans and goals. So relax your shoulders, jaw and butt.

Be Cautious

food photo

Photo by FootMassagez

Make sure you understand your appetite and your limbic system

Survival in those remote times depended very much on a part of the brain called the limbic system. The physical and emotional responses that are driven by the limbic system are very powerful and produce rapid reactions that were certainly very helpful for our early survival as a species.

We can trace reactions such as fear and anger, hunger and the sex drive to the limbic system and one part of the structure in particular exerts a powerful influence in encouraging rapid responses: we’re referring to a small, almond-shaped portion of the limbic system known as the amygdala. It prompts instant reactions, particularly in the areas of fear, sexual response and hunger behaviour.

The system is primed to function from birth, prompting babies to cry when hungry and it continues to function throughout our lives, delivering emotionally-charged messages to satisfy instantly the need for pleasure, whilst avoiding pain and dealing with danger. As you will soon see, the key word for our programme is the word ‘immediate’.

Taking a moment to pause, slowing down the our reactions, considering the alternatives, leaning towards the brain’s higher functioning mechanisms – focusing on our goals – these are deeply effective habits to tame our fear response and control our appetites.

Learning to delay gratification could be your magic weight loss answer!

If we can learn to delay the need for immediate gratification, we may reduce the cravings associated with the limbic system’s drive for satisfaction. And the amygdala seeks immediate satisfaction. It does not encourage thought, contemplation or analysis. It demands action. In a dangerous environment, it can be a life saver. In front of temptation, however, it can be our undoing. Postponing gratification has been the subject of intensive research for decades and is the gateway to a much more productive and successful life. Start with the simple decision to postpone the gratification for a few minutes. That’s already a great start. Extend the period of delay gradually until you can postpone the moment forever if you wish.

Discover the joy of your pre-frontal cortex

If we were to identify the part of the brain that is most closely associated with the attributes of being human, it would surely be the pre-fontal cortex. This is the most highly evolved part of the brain and it’s the reason that you’re able to read this book. This is the source of our creativity and imagination and provides control mechanisms for our thoughts, our feelings and our actions. This is where human flexibility is rooted.

Unlike the limbic system, it develops slowly, not reaching its full capacity until our early twenties. The prefrontal cortex allows us to plan, to analyse, to be rational and to exercise control. Why is any of this relevant? Well, the two systems are closely linked. If the limbic system is the accelerator, putting the pedal to the metal for instant gratification, the prefrontal cortex is the braking system, slowing things down to maintain control and seek a more logical, reasoned approach.

It’s quite clear that the PFC is the key to many important behavioural changes. Planning, visualising, setting goals, measuring progress and adapting to changing circumstances are all attributes of the PFC. The more you engage its extraordinary creative potential, the more you over-ride the destructive, instant gratification responses of your old eating behaviours.

Don’t Sabotage Yourself

Food photo

Now is the time to really accept that Food Protects You from Uncomfortable Feelings

Emotional Eating serves two very effective purposes.  First, it helps you to avoid uncomfortable feelings.  The act of avoiding emotions becomes the “emotional disguise mechanism.”  This gives you a way to replace bad feelings with the pleasurable and tasty experience of eating.  This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as the “taste trance.”  In short, emotional eating protects you by disguising the feelings that you don’t want to feel.

If your feelings open the door to your inner, intensely personal world, then emotional eating slams the door shut.  It keeps you functioning on a synthetic level and, although you’re feeling helpless to control what and how much you eat, at least you don’t have to think about or act on the deeper things that really make you feel helpless – and the list would include failed relationships, unsatisfying careers, and difficult children.  By eating emotionally, you get to avoid confronting all those feelings of helplessness. Now you can change this reaction. Developing this essential level of control is a powerful game changer and an effective way to confront and set aside inappropriate habits.

Don’t sabotage yourself

Many patients tell me that as they’re approaching their ideal weight they often sabotage themselves and all of their efforts.  They wonder why they do this.  It doesn’t seem to make any sense and there is no logical explanation.  In fact, you may be able to relate to that experience.  The answer, time and again, proves to be the same: if you didn’t have your weight to worry about, you might have to think about what’s really going on in your life and that’s very scary and frightening.  It’s frightening because you probably feel helpless to change the things that really bother you.  You’ve made what we call the “unconscious helpless conclusion.”  It’s a conclusion that you’re helpless over your situation and your feelings and the challenges in your life that the feelings point toward, so you eat as a displacement activity that gets you quickly out of emotional jail. Remember your vision of a happier, healthier, and trimmer new you. Read out your goals every day. Repeat your goals at least three times until you start to believe in them.  Get excited. Switch on your determination. You’re unstoppable!

Dream Big

Human body photo

Building the Vision of your ideal body shape and eating behaviour 

How you see yourself does not always reflect how you really are. Sometimes our senses don’t seem to be as reliable as the beliefs that process the data of our eyes and ears. But the image you hold of yourself can be a powerful source of inspiration and encouragement. The following method engages another potent source of assistance and it comes from the hidden depths of the subconscious.

So much of our behaviour is a product of the conditioning that resides in the unchartered territory of the subconscious and this conditioning can be engaged to further your mission of totally effective weight control. You’ll need a picture of a lean and muscled body that represents the ideal vision of how you’d really love to be. Cut out the picture and cut off the head. Don’t worry. No animals will be hurt in the implementation of this method. Next – take a photo of your face. It should be roughly in the same proportions as the recently decapitated ‘perfect body’ picture and then all you need to do is tape the picture of your head to the picture of the body.

 Congratulate Yourself for this excellent work you have done

 Welcome to your new, idealised body.

Put the picture on the door of your fridge. If it looks good, make a dozen copies and put them around your home: in the bathroom, next to your bed, by your computer. The idea is that you will stop noticing the pictures consciously but will register the images subconsciously.

The new image will become imprinted in your subconscious, which will now begin to see you in terms of this new body. You’ll find added support from your subconscious in bringing the image and reality closer and closer together. A powerful technique and a beautiful way to engage the hidden resources of the subconscious in the fulfilment of your new cause. Do it now. Find that picture and put your subconscious to work right away.

Learn the best way to Check the Limbic’s Go-Go-Go Impulse

One of the most helpful methods for checking the impulsive Go reaction of the limbic system is to learn to breathe. I know it sounds incredibly simple but you should never underestimate the power of controlled breathing.

A deeper breath than usual, combined with a moment’s retention of the breath, helps to switch on the executive function of the prefrontal cortex that can override the instant demands of the amygdala. It’s a perfect distancing mechanism in the face of a compulsive reaction to eat anything that is not appropriate to your weight control goals. All you need to do is stop and breathe deeply. This tunes out the stress response and brings you back to a calmer, more rational state. Now it’s easier for the prefrontal cortex to take over and lead you to better choices. This simple behaviour is habit forming and you will be amazed at how effective it is in calming the limbic drives that used to seek instant gratification. Breathe a little more deeply. Hold the breath for a heartbeat. Breathe out slowly. It’s an ancient method, tried and tested for thousands of years. And it really works.

 

Appetite

eating photo

Photo by cc.photoshare

Take that first huge identification step of when you eat inappropriately

Simply identifying the times when you overeat is a huge first step.  Why is it a huge step?  It’s a huge step because that’s the magical moment when things start to come into focus.  You’ll be shining a spotlight on a situation and that will allow you to begin to analyse it in more detail.  Inevitably, you’ll have to confront the negative feelings that, up until now, you’ve been trying to get hide by eating. But don’t worry. We’ll help you through the entire process. You’re not the first person to overcome these issues. You are not alone! 

Writing down your experiences is very helpful and introduces levels of objectivity that disarm the old impulsive behaviours. 

Learn to recognise the situations that promote your inappropriate eating

We’ve considered a range of situations that can trigger emotional eating. It’s time to broaden the list and give you some ideas about other events and situations that often trigger the emotional eating response. Here are some situations that kept coming up again and again with many people in a similar position to yourself:

A disagreement with a loved one

An argument with someone at work

A child whose behavior is worrying

A feeling of loneliness or frustration

A health, financial or relationship worry

A bad night’s sleep

A dwindling sex life

Adolescence, pregnancy, post pregnancy, peri-menopause, menopause, post menopause

A child leaving home

A good friend moving away

A new baby

Tick the issues that seem relevant to you and then make a note of how you would like to deal with each of those challenges in the future. Think about your answers. Make them your own. Feel the sense of control that emerges from your positive decision to handle these situations differently in future.

Take the Past Challenge Quiz to discover what your issues were/are

Exercise number 1

Write down the top five challenges that have happened in your life over the last five years – or feel free to go back even further if older challenges still feel relevant to you.

For each challenge answer the following questions:

a)    How would you describe the challenge?

b)    Describe how it made you feel?

c)    What specific emotions did you feel throughout the challenge (e.g. fear, sadness, frustration, anger, etc?)

d)    What was your reaction to these feelings?

e)    Who did you talk to about these feelings?

f)    How did it feel to express them – or not express them – as the case may be?

Exercise number 2

 

Now list the five strongest emotions you felt during all these challenges:

Emotion number 1,

For example – anger

Answer these questions about your emotion:

a)    Why did you feel it?

b)    How did you relieve it or cope with it?

c)    Did you feel better afterwards?

d)    Did it happen again?

e)    How do you feel now?

If there are any residual emotional echoes of how you felt during the challenges, keep a note of these so we can use them later during a special emotional freedom tapping sequence.

Let’s face it: there isn’t anyone who welcomes negative feelings. Ideally you can get to a position where bad feelings are like bad weather – you know they’ll pass and, just like when you know it’s going to rain, so you prepare yourself and carry your umbrella. You know what you need to do to get through them.  Together we are going to ensure that you get yourself into a great situation where food will never again be your preferred method of medicating yourself.

 

Comfort vs Discipline

Comfort food photo

Photo by jeffreyw

Think deeply about whether you are still attached to needing food for comfort.

As you grew from baby to toddler to teenager to adult, you had to learn to regulate your own moods and handle stressful situations, away from your mother or caregiver. You had to develop the mental and emotional skills to handle life’s daily challenges all on your own with minimal help.  If you still use non-biological eating as an artificial mood changer to reduce feelings of discomfort, you have not yet completed this essential task of human emotional development.  You may be fearful and resistant towards being independent, but perhaps you also crave the comfort of having someone else provide you with something tasty and delicious to suppress your emotional stress.

Self acceptance reduces the need for external, artificial sources of comforts and encourages us to reward ourselves with better health through better food choices. It’s a virtuous cycle of better behaviour that supports well being at every level.

Recognise finally that by eating the wrong food, you will only feel worse afterwards

Although many years may have passed since you were an infant, you may still have a residual emotional habit of needing food for comfort so that even now, eating actually changes the state of your emotions. At least temporarily.  When you feel anxious and emotionally stressed, eating temporarily defuses the anxiety, almost as if it’s capable of turning down the intensity.  It’s very helpful to recognize that overeating actually works.  It comforts you in times of distress, and that’s the dilemma.  But as you know, this soothing feeling doesn’t last for long, because once the food is finished, the old self-hatred kicks in.

Pause to consider how you will feel after eating the wrong food. Fast forward to the point when you’re feeling less than happy with yourself! Now choose a healthy alternative and visualise the glow of achievement that accompanies a great choice. Pause and look for better alternatives. The key is in that moment of reflection that creates real choice in your life. 

Break the chain of repetitive behaviour. Recognise the real reason YOU decided to overeat and then take steps to avoid connecting the apparent reason to comfort eating.

You probably learned to eat something tasty as a coping method in times of stress and this simple habit easily degenerates into overeating.  Check your list of situations where you typically risk overeating and write down an alternative way of dealing with each of those challenges. Think about each of them. Remember your new list of alternative strategies to overeating. And put them into practice.

Recognise that eating to try and recover the comfort felt as a child will never work for you!

Drug addicts keep using drugs because they long for the feeling of their first high. But it’s something they’ll never be able to achieve. It’s exactly the same phenomenon as the fact that you can never fully return to the comfort of infancy no matter how much food you eat. 

How else could you find a state of calm and comforting security? You’re an adult. You have a vast array of choices. Choose one simple, healthy alternative and use it every single day from now onwards.

 

Be Optimistic

Happiness photo

There are No negative words allowed when it comes to eating behaviour management

Only positive expressions. And keep it short and simple. If you’re happy with the idea, write it down. Right now. Keep a copy of your goal in your purse or wallet. Tape a copy to your computer screen. Put a copy on the fridge door. Put a copy next to your bed where you can see it when you wake up. This is your goal. Memorise it. Repeat it often. Absorb the message into the depths of your being! 

Learn to handle the truth and accept the Consequences

The facts of being overweight make for grim reading. Obesity today is blighting the quality of tens of millions of lives and sowing the seeds of some pretty nasty health conditions. But you know that already, don’t you? The media love to broadcast horror stories about how awful life can be for the overweight members of the community. Great! Certainly helps everyone to feel better about themselves, doesn’t it?

But do the messages of doom, gloom, disease and unhappiness help you to take positive action? Well, probably not. And why is that? Because it isn’t really personal enough. All those horror stories and dire warnings apply to someone else. That’s right. They’re awful but they’re not really about you.

So, if we want to spark a reaction that will prompt us to take action, we need to get a boost from the limbic system. And all you have to do is imagine that you are exactly the individual experiencing the horrors of those unmentionable diseases, strapped to a gurney on the way to some drastic surgery, crippled and incapacitated for the rest of your life. Not nice, I know.

But, in the presence of a particularly nasty threat, your limbic system will issue a perfectly natural panic alert and quite rightly scare the pants off you. That deliberate jolt can provide the catalyst to urge you to make the changes in your lifestyle that will keep you much healthier than the vision of doom suggested! So, under the right circumstances, the limbic system can be turned to our advantage and prompt us to make important decisions.

Set those consequences in stone

Think hard about the consequences of being overweight. How much of your life – not someone else’s life, but your life – is being degraded because of those extra pounds? Get indignant about the situation. Get fired up. Take a stand. Make a concrete decision to take control of your weight.

And every time you’re tempted to stray, remember those images, the consequences, the suffering that follows from being overweight and stay purposefully, righteously right on track. As the limbic system gets you started, the goal-oriented pre-frontal cortex can manage the day to day details of making your long-term goal a reality.

 

 

Be Proud

human body photo

Ban those negative reactions

But since we’re going to be working with the only body that Nature has given us, we need to develop a much healthier relationship and a much more positive emotional connection with the physical frame that we’re presently occupying. I’ve discussed this subject in other works and we come back to it at this juncture because it’s too important to gloss over. Unfortunately, the typically negative reactions that occur when we look in the mirror could get in the way of our programme for real improvement. And it’s no good pretending to like your body. We need to go a lot further because pretending simply won’t cut it.

One of the surprisingly effective exercises that I’ve encouraged people to use for many years, particularly when we’ve identified the need to develop a more caring and tolerant attitude towards our bodies is the Miracle Mirror Method. Like many of these techniques, it seems very simple at first but that’s because we tend to measure these activities with the limited responses of the conscious mind. The power and effectiveness of this method flow from its ability to connect to the great reservoir of power that dwells in the unconscious.

So what do we do? Well, it really couldn’t be easier. When you get up in the morning and stagger towards the bathroom, your first mission is to look in the mirror – and smile. I know. You might not be looking at your best. You might not be groomed and feeling ready to conquer the world. I understand. But that smile is the way you signal to your body that you’re really pleased to see it – even first thing in the morning when most of us probably think we look more like a sack of potatoes!

If you’ve ever smiled at a small child and seen their face light up with the warmth that flows from that simple exchange of a happy expression, you’ll understand how your body will begin to feel when you learn to smile at yourself. It’s about personal acceptance. Your body has an emotional response range that’s pretty much like that of a four year old. Scowl and show your disapproval and the child recoils and gets upset.

Your body reacts in the same way. Smile and show your love, your warmth and your heartfelt acceptance, and the results are wonderful to behold. It might take a few days of practice. You might feel silly and childish at first. That’s to be expected. After all, you’ve been scowling at your body and registering your daily disapproval for a long, long time. But there will come a moment when your body begins to understand that it is the reason you’re smiling and that’s when the game becomes really interesting.

Learn to love your body

You need the absolute co-operation of your body to fulfil your goals. Learn to love your body, to give it the warmth, the kindness and complete acceptance it deserves and it will function the way you want it to. Nobody likes to work with people who hate them. That must be obvious. So develop a loving, co-operative bond with your body. Move into the fast lane of personal transformation. And prepare to set yourself free.

Words can convey tremendously strong messages about ourselves and language is another fascinating area where we often undermine our potential for positive change. We seem conditioned to describe ourselves in the most negative terms, reinforcing the old habits of low self-esteem and this failing becomes even more of an obstacle to success when we consider the internal dialogue that we play in our minds. This constant, repetitive commentary is insidious, most often negative and severely limiting.

It’s like having your own worst enemy living right inside your head! We need to change that. We need to develop a description of ourselves that reflects our goals, a description we can repeat in our heads, a set of simple words that power you up and make you feel capable, strong and really really good. You’re going to find the words that work for you and those words are going to become your new personal power mantra.