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What’s on Your Nurture List?

26 Apr

 Nature Image

When we think about losing weight, we tend to focus on diet and exercise – it’s what we’ve been conditioned to do. However, we can then become frustrated, as we find it difficult to actually eat healthily and be more active. It’s like something is stopping us from doing what we know we should be doing.

 The reason it can be difficult to stop overeating is that often we are using food to meet our emotional needs. In short, we are comfort eaters.

I’m sure that many of you recognise this in yourselves – you stop on the way home from a stressful day at work to buy some wine and chocolate or you come off an upsetting phone call with your partner and head straight for the ice-cream in the freezer. Food has become the friend we turn to when we feel stressed, sad, angry or fearful. In fact, pretty much any emotion can trigger off a need to overeat.

So, when we decide to lose weight and cut back on our eating, it’s like we’re being deprived of our closest friend, our biggest support. How is that going to work?

When we comfort eat, we are suppressing the emotion we are feeling, whatever that may be. We are putting a lid on it, rather than meeting the real emotional need. This is why, when I work with clients, we spend time looking at what’s happening for them when they get that urge to eat and they know they’re not physically hungry. Are they sad? Are they stressed? Are they angry? We then look at other ways of meeting that emotional need. It’s all about giving ourselves alternatives to overeating. Once the subconscious mind knows that there is another way, that it has some options, we find it easier to make healthier choices, meeting our true needs.

How can you do this for yourself? Well, I’d encourage you to take some time to think about the things you can do to help you feel more relaxed and uplifted in your life. Give yourself some space and make your own list of activities that nurture you. These can be as simple as having a cup of tea or running a bubble bath – find what feels right for you.

For me personally, I know that being outside in nature helps me to feel more grounded and peaceful. So, I make sure that I build time into my week when I can go for a walk or just sit in the garden. This morning, I took myself off to the forest to take some photos and felt such a sense of contentment and stillness. I know that if I don’t make time to do this, I will start to feel stressed and under pressure, so I’ve learned to plan regular ‘outdoor time’. This stops me from relying on the short-term fix of comfort eating.

So, create your own nurture list. Then start planning these activities into your week. Take positive action and start to truly meet your emotional needs. I guarantee you will find that you eat less and start to feel more balanced. I’d love to know what’s on your list, so please do share.

If you’d like to explore this in more detail, I am offering free weight loss clarity calls to three people next week. Contact me at if you are interested.


Planting Seeds

19 Mar

I was running a weight loss and wellbeing workshop at the weekend and one of the exercises I asked the participants to do was to imagine their intentions, their goals, as seeds.  I asked them to close their eyes and imagine planting these intention seeds in the ground, patting them into place and giving them some water.

At the end of the day, when we had spent time discussing what was going to move them forward and what was going to support them with their goals in the future, I asked them to come back to their seeds and notice any differences.  Some had a few shoots of growth coming up through the ground and some had a small plant with flowers.  The day had given them the beginnings of what they needed to allow their intentions to grow and become real.   As we ended the workshop, I asked them to think about what they would need from now on to continue growing their intentions, what would nurture their goals?

This was a very powerful exercise and fits very well at this time of year.  20th March is the Spring Equinox, when night and day are the same length and we move into the season of growth.  This is a wonderful time to be making the changes and transformations you want to.

Over the next few days, why not take some time to think about your intentions for the rest of the year?  Give yourself some space to do this and write down what you would like to achieve.  Then, when you know what you want to move towards, close your eyes and imagine planting those precious seeds, one for each intention or goal.

By doing this exercise, you are sending a strong message to your subconscious mind, letting it know what you want, how you want things to be different.  Once you have sent this message, this deep, powerful part of your mind will start finding ways to get you there.

Maybe you want to lose weight, give up smoking, become more confident, overcome some block that is holding you back – whatever you want to change, just plant the seed now and see how it grows.

If you would like to know more about harnessing the power of the subconscious mind, using hypnotherapy, to help you achieve your goals, please do get in touch.


5 Feb

An experience I had today has led me to think about how often we can be carrying things that are really not helpful.  I have been driving around with a massage couch in the back of my car for the last couple of weeks – I had visited a friend to give her a well-deserved massage and rather than lifting it out of my car as soon as I got home, I thought ‘oh, I’ll just do it later’.  And of course, it stayed banging around in the back of my car, getting in the way, causing me to use more petrol and generally irritating me every time I went to drive somewhere.

Silly eh?   Why didn’t I just take it out straight  away?  Why did I put up with this extra burden when I could have cleared it away?  Well, today I finally moved the couch back into my house and I felt better immediately.  My car has more space and I know I won’t have that nagging feeling whenever I go to drive.

So, you may be thinking, why is Nicola telling us this?  Well it got me thinking about all the things we carry with us in life that are not helpful – maybe it’s extra physical weight, emotional issues, worries or anxieties, perhaps it’s a cluttered environment that we live in.  All of these things hold us back in some way, they niggle us and take up our energy.  And do you know what?  We can choose to put them down.  We can choose to clear some space and unburden ourselves.

Imagine how it would be to put down that weight you’ve been carrying, emotionally or physically – the relief you would experience.

Well,  I can help with that.  Using hypnotherapy we can work together to let go of anything you’re carrying that isn’t serving you.  So, what would you like to clear away?  Contact me and find out how I can help.

And, if it’s physical weight you want to let go of, then I am starting a special online programme which is the perfect solution.  Click here for more details and to sign-up.

Get some calm.

5 Dec

In the busy run-up to Christmas, I just wanted to provide a quick tip to help you get some calm.

I was inspired by my own experience a couple of nights ago when I was trying to get to sleep and my mind was SO active! I wasn’t worrying, I was excited about a new project I’m planning and my mind was whirring.  I often work with clients to help them let go of any worries or anxieties, but I didn’t want to completely let go of my excited thoughts, I just wanted to put them to one side and get some sleep!

So, what did I do?  Well, it sounds simple, but I just imagined that my thoughts were inside a helium balloon.  I allowed that balloon to gently float up to the corner of my room and just sit there, ready for the morning when I wanted them back.  I clearly imagined the colour of the balloon and saw length of ribbon hanging down beneath it, so I could grab it back when I was ready to get excited again.

You may be thinking, ‘surely that couldn’t work, it couldn’t be that easy!’  Well, I tell you, it did work.  My mind slowed down and whenever my thoughts started whirring again, I took myself back to that balloon.  It was a simple way of containing my thinking.  Very soon I was fast asleep and woke up feeling refreshed.

I know we can all have lots on our minds at this time of year, so why not try this simple technique when you need some peace?  Let me know how it works for you.

Keeping it Simple

25 Sep

Do you ever have a day when your mind just won’t settle in one place?   Your thoughts are  jumping from one place to another, like a naughty puppy, and your  head feels busy.  This can be very unsettling; we find it difficult to focus, sometimes we may have trouble sleeping and often we just don’t know where to start.

I often find this when I’m working with clients; they can come to me with a whole lot of information which is so helpful for me to hear, but can feel overwhelming for them.   So, what I do is start with something simple.  We don’t need to deal with everything right now, we don’t have to know exactly where we’re going and we don’t have to make any life-changing decisions in the next ten minutes.  Pick one thing to focus on and do it.

As an example, with my weight loss clients I want to hear a full history of their experience to date, what their relationship with food is like, what they have tried in the past and what losing weight will mean to them.  However, this takes time and I understand that it can feel muddled and confusing for my client.  Because of this, at the end of our first session I give them something simple to focus on for the next week; I give them a food diary to keep, not for me to check up on what they’re eating (I’m not into checking up on people!), but for them to notice how they’re feeling when they’re wanting to eat – are they sad, stressed, bored, angry?  This information will help us to identify any emotional triggers for eating and once we recognise these, we can work with them.

I find that having this simple tool to focus on helps my clients to move forwards.   The information out there relating to weight loss can be overpowering so people end up doing nothing because they can’t choose what’s best for them.  So, for this next week why not pick one helpful thing to do and do it?  It’s much easier to focus on one thing than lots.  Keep it simple and you’ll find it much easier to maintain.

What are you going to choose to focus on?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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