These are not rules or guidelines to follow the to the letter and ‘get right’. They are a set of guiding principles to experiment with and fit into your life in any way that works.
The starting point for a healthy relationship with food and your body. Tuning in is a simple and effective tool which works on many levels. Learn to identify your thoughts, feelings and physical cues and you will have all the information you need to make profound changes to the way you eat and the way you feel about your body.
Eat when you’re hungry
It sounds simple enough and it’s not rocket science, but how do you know when you are hungry? Years of restricted and chaotic eating often mean we have become out of touch with our bodies and many of us no longer know how to read the cues. We’ll show you how to go back to basics and respond to your hunger in a way that fits it in with your life. And it doesn’t stop there, if you are eating when you are hungry, what do you do about all the times you eat and hunger has nothing to do with it? There are countless ways of overeating and we all have different names for it. Whether you call it bingeing, comfort eating, treating yourself, or simply eating too much, we will show you how to stop and feel normal and in control around food.
Eat what you want
The diet mentality has taught us that some foods are good and some are bad, often depending on how ‘fattening’ they are. But what is truly fattening is to deprive yourself of the foods you really want. Repeated studies show us that deprivation leads to craving and cravings leads to overeating. Beyond Chocolate will show you how to bring the foods you crave back into your life without overeating them. Worried about a healthy diet? Think about it this way – the fact is you are probably eating this stuff anyway, probably far more than you need and certainly far more than you would if it was allowed. By knowing that EVERYTHING is allowed, you offer yourself a real chance to choose healthy foods if you want to, without feeling deprived.
Put it on a plate, sit down and focus
Ever sat in front of the TV and munched through a packet (or two) of crisps without even noticing? Grabbed lunch and barely registered what you’ve eaten? It’s so easy to eat and eat and eat with repeated trips to the fridge or sitting at the computer in the office. If you eat on the go or while doing a thousand other things, you miss the experience and the signals that let you know when you’ve had enough – making you more likely to eat more. When you sit down, put food on a plate and focus, you acknowledge to yourself that you are eating and if eating is THE activity, you are much less likely to binge, graze, nibble, pick… We all deserve time to satisfy our hunger and Beyond Chocolate will help you explore how to make it work for you.
Food can be a delicious, nurturing, sensual experience. Why deprive ourselves of this pleasure? With Beyond Chocolate, we will show you how to rid yourself of the guilt, shame and stress you feel at every bitten and how to bring back the pleasure of eating.
Stop when you’re satisfied
If you are hungry to start with, your body will let you know just how much is enough and knowing when to stop is a central piece of the puzzle in learning how to stop overeating and, for some of us, the key to losing excess weight. We will also show you how to manage your feelings so that you are happy to stop eating without feeling hard done by or deprived.
Own your body
If we truly want a healthy relationship with food, then we also need to have a healthy relationship with our bodies. Motivation for change does not come from daily reminders that we are unattractive and unlovable. By criticizing and judging our bodies we crush our self esteem, which often leads to more eating. We can learn to feel good about ourselves and our bodies even when we think they are far from perfect. Discover how to start connecting with the body you have NOW – the best way to ensure that you get the body you want in the future.
With its reminders of plans, regimes and dieting schemes, the word ‘exercise’ has become far too loaded! Instead we think of it as movement – essential for health and well being, rather than a means to weight loss and toning. This disassociation is key – if we can see beyond the aim of losing weight and toning muscle, we can find ways of looking after our health and maintaining an appropriate level of fitness that is not only good for us but also satisfying. Beyond Chocolate will help you get a flush on your cheeks and a smile on your face!
As women, we are so good at supporting everyone around us that we forget we too need support. Under pressure, overwhelmed and over-stimulated at home and at work, we expect ourselves to be superwomen and everyone else does too. For many women, this translates into an unhealthy relationship with food – the only way we know to give ourselves a break or a pat on the back is to eat something nice. Support works in different ways for different people and Beyond Chocolate will show you how to find the ways that work for you. As a community, Beyond Chocolate offers you support yourself with a thriving members’ Forum, support groups, personalised email contact, telephone seminars and much more.
Be your own Guru
For so long the dieticians, nutritionists, diet books, celebrities and doctors have proclaimed themselves our ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’. They’ve told us what, when and how much we should eat and, in turn, we tell ourselves that others must have all the answers. In fact the truth is that we know best – we are the only ones who have the answers to these questions. You are the only expert in you. Beyond Chocolate will help you to ask the right questions so that you come up with answers that are tailored to you.