I think it was Einstein who said the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” So when my weight loss came to a gradual halt, I realised that I have been doing the same training and eating the same foods for a while now. It seems that what I was doing had worked initially, but my mind and my body were longing for change.
Up until recently I had been training 3 times a week and eating what I thought to be healthy food, but I had also noticed some bad habits beginning to creep back in to my life. First of all chocolate had made its way back into my diet and there had been a few guest appearances from the local Chinese take away.
I knew that I was in danger of completely sabotaging everything I have worked for over the past few years, so it was time to kick myself back into shape again.
Understanding that the one thing that stands between me and success is actually me, I decided to take a 10 week CBT programme. This is an interactive programme designed to help me change my relationship with food. CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and it works by exploring your thoughts and behaviours. This is important for breaking old habits and forming new ones.
I signed up for the Mind Over Body Weight Loss Programme, which aims to look at the three pillars of weight loss – Food, Exercise and the Mind. I have found over my weight loss journey that even though I am well educated when it comes to diet and exercise, I don’t always do what I am supposed to do. Even though I know that some foods have no nutritional benefit for me, I was still eating them. I was doing things that I knew were sabotaging my weight loss, but I was doing them anyway. I was experiencing a lot of thoughts like “What’s the point?” or “It’s not fair” and really beating myself up over why I was not able to stick to a healthy diet. This led me to believe that I needed to take a closer look at myself and my behaviours and thoughts about food.
The programme consists of 10 weekly meetings, run by Susi Lodola who is qualified in Psychology, Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and who has also been through her own weight loss journey. Three of the sessions include a talk by a nutritionist. Full body composition is measured at weeks 1, 5 and 10 as well as weekly weigh-ins. The exercise element of the programme is optional, but there is a chance to train as much or as little as you are ready for. I chose to continue with my own training routine, but the option to train with the group was there through-out the programme.
So what is different about Mind Over Body?
The Mind Over Body Programme differs from any of the other weight loss groups I have tried because it is an active participatory style group. The groups are kept deliberately small and instead of receiving lectures, the meetings are designed to really get a grip on your eating habits and your attitudes to food as well as discovering how eating the wrong types of food leads to eating more of the wrong types of food. I found the reflective nature of the meetings very effective and really helped with my commitment and motivation to continue.
The food plan is easy to follow and doesn’t rely on counting calories or points or syns. There are a few easy principles which I found easy to follow and stick to. This kind of a food plan suits me because I really like to have a lot of variety in my diet.
Each week we focus on a new, but small goal, which will ultimately contribute to our larger goals. We are responsible for selecting our own goals and each week we review what we did well or not so well for the previous week. Choosing your own manageable goal is essential because this is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Each week is managed based on your own level of motivation and commitment. Positive changes are celebrated and negative results are explored.
Over all I found the 10 week programme to be really effective in identifying the barriers I have had to weight loss and in learning how to overcome them. Unlike other groups I have attended I didn’t think of quitting at any point of the ten weeks and actually quite enjoyed attending the meetings. It has not been an overnight epiphany or a quick fix, but I have been losing weight and keeping it off. I would really recommend the programme to anyone who is having trouble achieving and maintaining weight loss.
For more information on the Mind Over Body Programme you can check out the website
*I paid the full cost of this ten week programme with my own money.