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Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

This is Childhood Obesity Week.

From the time a baby is born, it links the provision of food with love as it suckles on its mother’s breast for the first time.  As a child, you probably remember being offered a sweet as a treat, or a biscuit to make you feel better.  We learn that sugar- and fat-laden foods are treats which are given if we endure the healthy food – “you can have your ice-cream once you have finished your dinner.”  Add to this the convenience of fast food, it’s no wonder that childhood obesity is a problem.

In 2010 The World Health Organisation reported that there are around 40 million children under the age of five who are overweight.  It is thought that this figure is much higher in the UK – apparently we have the highest rates in Western Europe.  All of this despite the education we have around food.  And we only have ourselves to blame.

The great news is that we can change it.  You are in control of what you put on your table and what you stock your cupboards with.  Not so easy is getting used to the language that we use with our children to position healthy food as desirable and junk food as, well, junk.  I help a lot of adults lose weight and many of them say that they have so much temptation at home with the crisps and sweets they have in the cupboards for the kids, as though these are necessities.  Much better to teach your child that treats are the healthy, colourful foods which make up a healthy diet.

In the nine years to 2009, there was more than a four-fold increase in the number of children requiring hospital treatment for problems associated with obesity.  It can lead to conditions such as type-2 diabetes, breathing difficulties, and more.  It usually causes low self-esteem as an added bonus.  So, teaching your child to have a healthier relationship with food is a great foundation for them in life.  Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure there is a lot of colour on the plate – this will provide your child with lots of nutrients for health, mood and brain function.
  2. Make sure portions are child-sized, not adult-sized.
  3. All meals should have protein which is necessary for a growing child and to stave off hunger pangs.
  4. Give them regular meals and healthy snacks in between – a few almonds or a piece of fruit are a great way of providing nutrients and balancing blood sugar.  A glass of milk is another option and is great for bones and teeth.
  5. Keep beige food (burgers, fries, biscuits and cakes) to an absolute minimum – call it emergency only food because there is no real food available at the moment.  Never, never, never, frame fast food, sweets, biscuits or cakes as a treat.
  6. Instead of using food as a way of soothing emotions, teach your child recognise their emotions and to respond to them in a positive way.  It is OK to feel emotions.  As humans, we are supposed to feel.  However, they should be taught to deal with them in a positive way.  Teach them EFT to help them.
  7. Involve them in deciding what to eat – make choosing a new fruit or vegetable a game that they play.  Involve them in new and different ways of cooking healthy foods, or of eating them raw.  Fruit kebabs are fun, cruditees and vegetable dips too.
  8. Eliminate unhealthy sugars and re-educate their pallet for healthier foods.
  9. Make exercise and activity part of their daily life.  This is good for them emotionally, physically and socially.  It also keeps their mind off food.

As parents, we are either part of the solution or part of the problem- your children will take their cue from you.   If you are concerned for your child’s health and weight, why not book a consultation on 0845 130 0854.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2014

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.yourempoweredself.co.uk.

How to Have a Stress Free Christmas

Sress Free Christmas

You may wonder why on earth I am writing about Christmas in November, but already the shops are streaming Christmas music, the shelves are full of gift ideas and, it seems, ‘tis already the season to be jolly.  If you don't start planning now, it will be too late to have a stress-free Christmas.  And we all know that Christmas can be a very stressful time. It’s the pressure of the family being together and everyone having unrealistic expectations. Many anticipate an idealised experience yet the reality can be more challenging.  It is a time to be realistic about what can be done to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Here are my tips to help you:

Planning is Key

Whatever you do, you need to plan Christmas well in advance to minimise the pressure.   This is where your time management and delegation skills are really useful.  Plan what to do and by when.  Just because this is the season of goodwill, doesn’t mean it all has to come from you!  Make it a team effort, in the spirit of goodwill.  Give everyone a job for the lead-up.  One person buys the groceries, another picks up the turkey, another organises the drinks, yet another arranges the tree, etc.  Make this the year that you teach people how to treat you – you are not the do-er of all things!  And, if you are one of those for whom Christmas just happens, do help out, you have no idea how hard it is to pull everything together alone.

Remember that a lot of things can be ordered on the internet – make the most of it and you save a lot of trudging around in the madness which is the Christmas crowds.

Avoiding Debt at Christmas

Budget how much you have to spend – and only what you can afford.  Christmas is about being with people you love, not about buying the most expensive present possible or having a table full to brimming with food which would feed the whole street.

Allocate how much of this budget can be spent on food and how much on presents.  Then allocate how much you will spend on each person.   Make a list of what you will buy each person and stick to it.  Sometimes the simplest presents are the best.  One of the nicest gifts I received were some hand-made biscuits beautifully packaged.   If funds are tight, consider making it a family rule that no present should exceed a nominal amount.  This can be really fun and will waken up those creative juices, avoid the family rivalry of who spent the most money and bring Christmas in line with what its really all about.

Now, make a food shopping list, and stick to it.  Many people waste a phenominal amount of food.  There’s no excuse to over-buy now as the shops are open almost every day so you can always pop out for extras.  And you don’t need every type of chocolate and every type of cheese and twelve deserts to choose from.  Moderation is key. It will help your waistline too!

The Good, The Family and the Ugly

For the actual day, delegate someone to keep the drinks topped up, another to make sure the CDs are changed regularly, a diplomat to defuse any arguments, a washing up team, someone to organise the party games and a kindly, patient soul to look after Great Uncle George.  In terms of organising the food, perhaps someone could bring a starter and someone else can bring the dessert.

You don’t have to be a hero – it’s your day too!  Involving everyone can really help develop a convivial family atmosphere if done in the right way.

High expectations often lead to disappointment and Christmas is renowned for family disputes.  Keep your Christmas sweet by being realistic about what to expect so that tiny spats don’t develop into full-blown rows.  If you see a row developing, use some diversionary tactics such as asking someone to help in the kitchen, or take the dog out for a walk or have a fun forfeit for each transgression of the peace.  The transgressor can then set the next forfeit so people know what to expect and it can be all part of the fun.

Perfect Balance

Allow yourself not to be perfect.  The most fun can be had by what goes wrong rather than what goes right.  Don’t take it all too seriously and you will enjoy it more.  Too many people suffer from sense of humour failure and this can really feed into family tensions.

Typically, we will see more of our family and more family members at Christmas than any other time of the year.  It can be pretty intense and it’s important to take some personal time out on your own.  Perhaps a leisurely bath, a walk, read a book, reflect on all the highlights of the  year.
Enjoy this season of goodwill by planning early for it.  Do you have any tips that can help others plan for their Christmas with more Merry and less stress?  Do share!

And may I take this opportunity of wishing you the best Christmas ever – it all starts now!

Warmest regards,
Tricia

PS  For gift ideas to help create positive change for the people you love, visit www.self-help-resources.co.uk.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

 

This week is Depression Awareness Week.

Depression feels like a hopeless place that you are trapped in.  It can feel as though the life has been sucked out of you.  Whether you are able to hide your depression from the outside world or not, you can’t hide it from yourself and, if not dealt with soon, can get worse as each day passes.

There are a number of symptoms which are used to diagnose depression.  If you have five or more on this list and at least one from the top two for two weeks, it is a sign that you may be depressed:

  1. Depressed mood most of the time
  2. Loss of pleasure or interest in things you would normally enjoy
  3. Loss of energy
  4. Eating more or less than usual
  5. Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  6. Poor concentration
  7. Restlessness or lethargy
  8. Feelings of worthlessness
  9. Guilt
  10. Hopelessness
  11. Withdrawal from relationships
  12. Suicidal thoughts

If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts or the symptoms are strong, you need to get medical help immediately.  Otherwise, there is plenty you can do to help yourself.  Depression can be caused by several factors:

  • Your thoughts (which create feelings).  If you are stuck in a negative thinking spiral then practicing positive thinking, as explained in the book Think Positive, Feel Good can make a huge difference to you.
  • Biochemical – this is the effect of what’s happening in your body.  Depression can be caused by malnutrition, absorption issues (where you are eating well but your body is not absorbing the nutrients effectively),  hormonal imbalance and a lack of the feel good chemicals such as serotonin.  The Asyra Pro is a bioresonence screening technology which can help to determine where there is imbalance and create balance for you.  A session will include a nutritional assessment to see what your body needs to get back into balance.
  • Lifestyle – depression can be triggered by an incident or a general feeling of overwhelm where you simply don’t feel in control any more.  It is often a result of other emotions which aren’t addressed such as anger, sadness, boredom,  guilt,  loneliness, stress and frustration.  When you acknowledge and deal with these emotions in a positive way, depression can be averted or diminished.  If you feel this may be you, why not book a consultation to see what can be done to help you?  An initial telephone consultation is free of charge and I can be reached on 0845 130 0854.
  • Spiritual – sometimes depression can be caused by a lack of purpose or meaning in your life.  If you feel that life is just the same-old-same-old, or that there is something missing, then finding some meaning can make all the difference.  This can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you are depressed, but there are tools and techniques in my book 21 Ways and 21 Days to the Life You Want.  Or working together may help you get there more quickly.

It certainly doesn’t help to have a loved one say “pull yourself together”.  But it can help to see a professional who can determine the cause and help you through it so you can start to enjoy life again.  Do call for a free telephone consultation on 0345 130 0854.  You don’t have to go through this alone.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0345 130 0854 www.yourempoweredself.co.uk.

Why do people self-harm?

Today is Self-Injury Awareness Day.  Why do people self-harm?  There can be a number of reasons, the main ones being as a distraction from the pain they are experiencing in their lives, as an outlet for the pain they are holding inside, as a way to feel because feeling emotions can seem to overwhelming, or as a cry for help. 

If you recognise this in yourself, it’s really important that you seek professional help.  You don’t have to be in this alone.  Why not call for a free telephone consultation to see how I could help you?  I can be reached on 0845 130 0854.

Listening to Your Feelings

Understanding Feelings and Emotions by Tricia WoolfreyIf your feelings could talk, what would they say?  Feelings are the physical representation of emotion.  They communicate your wants and needs.  They tell you when you are happy and when something isn’t right. Yet, all too often, we ignore them.  Sometimes this is because of the way we were brought up (it isn’t nice to be angry, big boys don’t cry, etc) and sometimes it’s because we have no idea how to deal with them, or because the feelings are too painful.

Negative feelings can be a combination of events from the past, stresses in the present and worries about the future, even though the only reality is now.  If you find yourself over-reacting to situations, it is unlikely to be simply about what is happening in the moment but instead is likely to be an emotional resonance with what has happened in the past- a reminder which supports a limiting belief. For example, someone being late to meet you for lunch may remind you of all the times that people have let you down, whether intentionally or otherwise, and may perpetuate a limiting belief of “I am not important”.

So what happens?  We learn to suppress and repress our feelings and this can lead to problems in relationships and even our health.  It also leads to distracting behaviours.  When we feel bad, we often distract with food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, shopping, gambling etc.  But this does not deal with the underlying problem, it simply disguises it for a moment or two.  When we suppress in this way, the underlying problem grows in intensity – like it is shouting to be recognised. It doesn’t matter how much food, alcohol, tobacco or clothes you have – it will not help you feel less bored, anxious, frustrated, depressed or lonely.  Those feelings come right back and you need more of your distractor to help you feel “normal”.  It is a vicious circle and it’s important to deal with the core issue when you can. Ask yourself:  “How much do I have to eat (buy/drink/smoke/work/etc) to resolve this issue?”  Distractors are ultimately unsatisfying because you do not truly meet your emotional need.

FEELINGS AND ASSOCIATED NEEDS

There are eight main negative emotions.  Here is what they mean:

Primary Feelings

Feeling What it's telling you What it wants
Boredom Lack of Challenge Fulfilment and growth
Anger A sense of unfairness or of a boundary being broken To make things fair and create clear boundaries
Guilt Feeling that you have been unfair or unkind to someone To make amends
Sadness Loss (real or imagined, person, status or item) To feel whole
Lonliness A lack of connection to yourself, to others or the world Meaningful relationships
Inadequacy Feeling unworthy To feel good enough
Stress A feeling that you have more to handle than your perceived ability to cope A feeling of control
Fear Feeling insecure or in danger To feel safe and secure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When these primary feelings are ignored, they can lead to frustration (that what you are doing is not working) and, ultimately to depression.  The only way to avoid this trap is to learn how to deal with your feelings constructively.  There are four ways of doing this:

1.     SELF-COACHING

a) Name the feeling
b) Identify the cause of the feeling (unfulfilled need, want or desire)
c) Identify a satisfying response (an action that fulfils the need, want or desire)

2.     COACHING OR THERAPY

Often it is helpful to work with someone who is skilled at helping others.  They can steer you through the complexity of your past.  For more information see www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.

3.     PRACTICE EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE

This is a wonderful technique that helps you to manage your emotions constructively.  For a demonstration on how to do this, see www.self-help-resources.co.uk or contact Tricia Woolfrey on 0345 130 0854 for 1:1 coaching on how to do it.

4.    HAVE HEATLHY DISTRACTORS

Doing something positive can help you change state naturally.  Try the following ideas:

  • Do some exercise – a great way to relieve stress and help you feel in control
  • Keep a journal – writing down your feelings can be very cathartic
  • Declutter your home/desk – clutter is a way of hanging onto negative emotion so decluttering can be very therapeutic
  • Start doing self-hypnosis – an excellent way of maintaining a positive outlook and feeling relaxed (see the book An Inside Job ™ – coming soon at www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk)
  • Call or see a friend – maybe someone you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Do something kind for someone – there is no better way of instantly feeling good

When you listen to what your feelings are telling you and respond appropriately, you are on your way to feeling a lot better about yourself, gaining perspective on a situation and having a healthier relationship with yourself and others.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey
tricia@yourempoweredself.co.uk
www.yourempoweredself.co.uk
0345 130 0854

Tricia Woolfrey is a hypnotherapist, coach and wellness practitioner with practices in Byfleet Village, Surrey and Harley Street London.