Eating well – a mindful self-compassionate approach to making healthy choices

Can I help?

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Call me: 07753957371

An enjoyable and informative experiential summer evening workshop

Time: TBC
Where: TBC
Cost: £20.00 (includes refreshments and handouts) payable prior to the session either via bacs -contact me on 07753 957371 for details or by cash or cheque if posting via royal mail and please include a note with your name and which workshop and date in sealed envelope fao Annette Boden Room 5, 98 King Street,Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6HQ

By attending this workshop you will:

  • Learn how to focus on achieving positive lifestyle and nutritional changes that will enable you to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight for good both mindfully and compassionately.
  • Get motivated to exercise and lose excess weight.
  • And learn a deep relaxation and visualisation technique that will improve energy levels and motivation.



Some ideas to start with…

It is particularly important to us to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as we throw off the winter layers and turn our thoughts to more outdoor activities. However, this can be a time and source of stress for many, not wanting to expose the excesses from the winter months. So let us consider the following: in order to achieve the confidence to shed the layers having a visual goal is extremely useful so imagine yourself at the ideal weight for your height and what you would be wearing. This goal can motivate you to exercise more often-action creates motivation. So, beginning with a short but brisk 20 minute walk each day you can build on this as much or as little as you want as this will improve your circulation, release endorphins-feel good hormones and flush out toxins- giving more energy and lifting your mood.

Take this time to assess your relationship with food as part of your healthy weight goal to consider how much you eat, how often and what you eat. But, image is not just about weight and how we think we look to others- it is about confidence and being comfortable and happy with who we are. So here is a great exercise for you to try that really works:


Next time you pass a mirror, before berating yourself with harsh criticism- Close your eyes for a moment- now, imagine stepping out of your body ad into the body of someone you know loves you the most- unconditionally. This may be your spouse, friend, parent, sibling, or someone who has really appreciated something you have done for them recently- Then open your eyes and look in the mirror as if through the eyes of that person, through eyes of love and respect- you will see a much more real and positive image of yourself, one you can be proud of…and smile.

When we diet we restrict the body of a variety of nutrients, and because of the time consuming planning and strictness of many diets, we often lose our motivation, life gets in the way, and when we finish the diet we more often than not put back on the weight we lost and more besides as the body goes into starvation mode and stores excess ready for the next diet/famine! Eating is vital for our survival so when we restrict our intake by dieting – we are going against our own body’s survival instincts.

The best way to lose weight and maintain the weight loss is through positive lifestyle change. This may mean actually eating more food- not less!

  1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day-

Fuel up first thing; we need the most energy at the beginning of the day. If we skip breakfast, when we do finally eat -? Mid-morning or even later at lunchtime we often grab a quick fix for energy such as high sugar foods and refined products- biscuits /cakes etc and also the next meal we have, our body holds onto more than it actually needs because we have confused it and put it into emergency starvation mode- remember survival instinct- because it does not know when the next nourishment will come.


So, balance is the key– sending a message to the body that it will be nourished regularly. If you do eat a breakfast but find yourself still hungry or very peckish around mid morning- then eat extra fibre at breakfast and include a piece of fruit.


Only 1 or 2 meals a day may not be enough for your body and often then when we do eat we overload to compensate as energy levels have dipped and we are ‘starving’ rather than ’hungry’.


  1. Pay attention to how you eat your food. Eating mindfully and compassionately

It takes 20 minutes for the body’s chemical signal to kick in and let us know we are full- if we eat quickly, in a hurry, distracted- we often miss the signal and carry on eating. If we eat more slowly- naturally we eat less in that time.

Chew your food well, this improves digestive absorption and smooth transit and is less work for the body to do further down and so avoids unnecessary blockages – like a traffic jam.

Really taste your food- quite often we miss flavours, so when we pay attention and taste our food, we find we are more drawn to healthier foods. Be in the present moment when eating your main meals- take time to sit down and really enjoy your food. Do not beat yourself up about having treats- when you eat mindfully, you naturally eat less, so you can have those treats but eating less of them- this takes the pressure of denying yourself treats, and when we are relaxed and mindful we are able to keep motivated and keep a sense of balance. Plan your weekly menu- when you are relaxed and have the time-it helps you to really think about what you are eating so that you can create balance in your diet. This saves energy through the week and keeps you on track! It also saves money on your shopping bill.


  1. Increase water intake and reduce caffeine intake.

Caffeine is a diuretic and depletes the body’s fluid levels. Quite often we are really thirsty when we think we are hungry. So plenty of water is essential for healthy weight loss and maintenance- it flushes out toxins and replenishes- giving us more energy and reducing sluggishness and tiredness.


  1. Exercise

Is not something to dread or avoid- it can be fun and exhilarating- it is about choosing an activity that you enjoy, and that can be fitted into your lifestyle – it may be that a gym is for you- but if not then a brisk walk – 20 minutes a day gets your system going and heart rate up, increasing your circulation and energy levels- helping you to sleep better and burning off excess calories.

All activity counts- including housework- just up the speed!

Pace yourself and build in an easy to maintain routine, and do not go beyond realistic limitations- life does happen along the way and often gets in the way- so don’t beat yourself up if your routine stops for a while- acknowledge that life got in the way then get back on track.



  1. Rest and relaxation.

As well as exercise- rest and relaxation are a vitally important part of a healthy balanced lifestyle to maintain your weight loss.

If we don’t do this we eat more for extra energy and the wrong things because we don’t have the energy to prepare fresh foods, and low moods from tiredness can lead to quick fix sugar intake. Look at your sleep patterns and put into place some time for you and some good sleep habits. Alcohol is not included in this.

I work with many people to address weight management issues and emotional eating and offer a range of programmes, including ethical hypno-banding and mindful eating. Eating mindfully helps you release excess weight and keep it off!