I understand that to lose weight and keep it off you need more than to “eat less & move more”. I learned that through my own experience, as I went through most of my life trying out the latest diets which promised to help me lose weight.
I counted calories, points and syns, I cut out whole food groups, detoxed and drank shakes. I did lose weight on most of those plans, but I found it difficult to sustain and very soon the weight came back on, and then some more on top of it.
The thing is, I knew exactly what I should eat and what I shouldn’t. Most of what I ate was healthy, home-cooked food. However, I was an emotional eater, and I found that is the case with most people who come to see me for weight loss.
I started to gain weight in my late 20’s after I had my first child. The weight was slowly creeping up every year and after my 3rd child was born, I decided to work from home part-time and focus on raising my 3 children. I was lucky to be able to do that and I really enjoyed being at home with them. However, I also missed going to work outside the home, and I also missed interacting with other people.
I later learned that emotions such as guilt and stress caused me to reach for sugary foods and more weight was gained. Emotional eating provides short lived relief from uncomfortable emotions, as we try to buffer and suppress them. The relief is short lived and very quickly followed by more emotions such as guilt, self doubt and self-loathing. This is a vicious cycle that can go on for a very long time unless it is addressed. I was feeling stressed, frustrated and guilty because I missed work. I was also living in South Africa at the time, where I had no family support around me during a time when the children were small. I would turn to chocolate, looking to make myself feel better. Deep down I knew that this is not going to help but I was thinking “just a little bit won’t make a difference”.
Later on in life, when I went to college to study Psychology and Psychotherapy, I had to undergo counselling as part of my studies (50 sessions to be precise). I then discovered that I did hold strong associations with chocolate going back to my childhood and that chocolate had become my “go to” when experiencing difficult emotions.
During my studies in Psychology, Psychotherapy and a Master in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy & Motivational Interviewing, I learned how Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is applied to help change behaviours and thought patterns. This is key to achieving lasting behaviour changes that lead to sustainable weight loss. Once I started applying the principles of CBT to myself, I started to lose weight without having to “diet” or count points, calories or syns.
My own experience of weight gain and weight loss, combined with my studies, led me to developed the “Mind over Body Weight Management Programme”. This programme is evidence-based and applies CBT tools and techniques which not only equip you to achieve weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, but also to help you achieve a balanced and fulfilling life.
What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for weight loss?
Weight loss is complex, and research tells us that eating healthy and exercising is not enough to successfully lose weight and keep it off. We have deep-rooted emotional associations with food and these have a huge impact on how and what we eat. Diet and weight loss programmes that focus only on food and exercise are missing a vital component – they do not look at getting your mindset right to keep you motivated and successful in the long term.
CBT provides you with a set of tools that will change the way you think and therefore the way you behave around food. Changing behavior, in particular long-term, habitual patterns, takes practice and this programme will support you throughout to help you make those changes. The tools are for life and applying them consistently will enable you to maintain a healthy weight.Losing weight and keeping it off is a skill.
It’s like learning a new instrument, you will have to practice in order to master it. The more you practice, the better you get at it. Would you expect to be playing the piano perfectly after practicing for a few weeks???
On the Mind over Body programme, you will learn the skill of weight loss, based on proven, cutting-edge psychology tools and techniques – but you will have to actively practice it in order to be successful!
Susi is a Psychotherapist/Cognitive Behaviour Therapist in private practice working with adults and teens helping them through life's challenges.
She holds a Masters in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Susi is the founder of the "Mind over Body Weight Management Programme" which is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
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