Enjoy this wonderful guest blog written by Abbey Robb, an award-winning Integrative Therapist. As we leave the lockdown, maybe not in the shape we would like, Abbey asks us to think of losing the pounds in a different way!
Have you found yourself in a somewhat different shape as we emerge from lockdown? The lack of
physical exercise most of us have engaged in over the last few months, coupled with the proximity of
the fridge (and in some people’s cases the incessant snack time demands of their children) combined
with the stresses of the pandemic to create a perfect situation for weight gain.
Perhaps you managed to keep a relatively even keel during lockdown but there’s still some stubborn
pounds hanging around that you haven’t managed to shift post-pregnancy or the weight has crept
on slowly and steadily year after year. It’s a common condition in the UK; roughly 2/3 of adults are
overweight and 30% are classified as obese.
Many of us have spent years on the diet merry-go-round, and perhaps after watching Boris Johnson
attribute his Covid-19 related stay in intensive care on his weight and the ensuing push coming from
the government exhorting everyone to slim down you might be contemplating re-joining Weight
Watchers or Slimmers World.
Even though we don’t want to admit it, we all know that diets don’t
actually work. It’s also important, with impressionable children watching on, that they see healthy
eating habits being modelled. Rather than staying on the merry-go-round of losing and gaining,
following crash diets where you only eat eggs, or slogging it out in the gym for hours at a time, what
if there was a better way to approach things?
Emerging research into neuroplasticity and weight has found that after making years of certain food
and lifestyle choices, our brain changes and adapts in response. We develop habits, rituals and rules
around food. Our brains are very much creatures of habit and enjoy the status quo – this means
that when we institute modifications in an attempt to change our weight, there’s going to be some
My invitation to you is to start looking at weight loss differently. Rather than starting a diet because
you feel negatively about your size or shape, how would it feel to change the food you ate because
you wanted to feel better? If you approach the changes that you make to your food choices from a
standpoint of ‘what will nourish my body and look after it?’ would you choose differently?
If you leaned into the resistance and saw the changes that you were making as acts of self-care and
nurture rather than deprivation, how would you feel? Further to this, if you started opening up
conversations within your families about what you need to be doing to feel good, it creates a whole
new avenue for discussion and exploration.
In my practice, I often work with clients to help them understand what their values and beliefs are.
Quite often they’ll say that being a role model to their children is one of their values, as is being
healthy and active. Once we understand what our values are, what’s important to us in life, we can
start to work towards embodying them. There’s an understanding that in the pursuit of these
principles, we are willing to tolerate a little discomfort as we learn how to do things differently.
Often when people are overeating or eating rich, calorie dense, sweet foods, they’re doing so
because at some point in their life that food met a need that they had. Perhaps they were very
stressed or felt overwhelmed and the food gave them an endorphin hit, or they learned to associate
sweets with family togetherness and connection so now when they are feeling lonely, that’s where
By starting to focus on the ‘why’ and seeking out new and different ways to meet those needs, we
give ourselves the ability to act in different ways. Rather than beating ourselves up for turning to
cake and icecream, there’s a recognition that there’s a need that going unmet and the process can begin to meet that need in a different way. Rather than being in a diet mindset of ‘oh well, I’ve
blown it now’, there’s an opportunity for exploration and fine tuning and making changes that
actually work long-term.
The concepts discussed in this article are relatively simple, but they can be difficult to implement.
For many of us there’s years of negative self-talk, low self-esteem and those pesky habitual
behaviours that need to be overcome before progress can be made. If you know that you’ve done
the same old thing for long enough and you’d like to try a different approach, let’s have a chat about
how I can help.
Abbey Robb is an award-winning Integrative Therapist who takes a multidisciplinary approach to her practice. Combining modern hypnotherapeutic techniques with psychosensory interventions,
mindfulness, SFT and psycho-spiritual shamanic principles, she takes a client-centric approach in her
Her practice is based in London, but she sees clients from all over the world using
videoconferencing software. She is currently running a summer weight management course special
for £180 for 3 appointments.
For more information please visit www.abbeyrobbtherapies.co.uk