This Time Next Year

This Time Next Year is a new TV programme hosted by Davina McCall.  I watched the first episode yesterday because, fairly obviously, this is right up my street.

The people on the show recorded their first appearance a year ago, when they made a pledge to achieve a goal that was personal to them.  They have then worked on achieving their goal over the last 12 months and have now returned to the show in order to show how successful they have been.  One lady had lost 10 stone in weight, another had successfully become pregnant after two ectopic pregnancies and a third lady had competed on stage as a body builder – and won.  There was a gentleman who wanted to find love and another who wanted to overcome his stammer and speak in public.  So, a wide range of goals, all very personal and with the potential to be life changing.

What wasn’t clear was how much help and support the TV show provided during the 12 months that the people were working on achieving their goal. I would imagine that knowing you are going to share your success on national TV is quite a strong motivator and would provide the incentive to keep going and do whatever you need to do to get there.

This is where having a personal coach really helps.  We saw the lady body- builder working out with her trainer and he wasn’t going to let her slack off!  As your coach, I will do the same for you – keep you constantly focussed on what you want to achieve, why you want to do it and taking action to get there.

So, what will you achieve by This Time Next Year?  Or next month?  Or by the end of the year?  A year is a long time and for sure, if there is a big change you want to make in your life then go for it!  That doesn’t mean that you can’t make dramatic change more quickly though, so please don’t wait another year to do something which you can do today, or tomorrow.

Make your pledge – your promise to yourself right now.  Then take the first step on your journey.

If you would like my help, please email

I look forward to hearing about your success!

Think & Grow Slim Seminar – New Date!

Think & Grow Slim Seminar – Sat 20 August in Bromsgrove, Worcs. 9.30am-12.30pm

Give us 3 hours of your time and we will:

Help you create the right mind-set for success on your Journey to Slim
Provide at least 6 strategies which you can implement immediately
Focus on your weight loss goal and understand how to achieve it
Describe what can get in the way of successful slimming and how to overcome any barriers that arise
Share ideas with like-minded people
You choose which actions you will take to achieve your Journey to Slim goal!

Included in the Agenda:

Goal Setting, Visualisation and Rewards
How to Look Great Now
How does Overeating fit into the Bigger Picture of Your Life
Stages of Weight Loss
How to Think Like a Thin Person
Creating a Plan for Your Journey to Slim

Earlybird ticket price £25! Book before 15 July 16 to secure your place at this reduced price. (Normal price £35).

Email to secure your place!

The Beach Body Myth

I’m just back from a week in Corralejo, Fuerteventura after a very relaxing week on the beach.  As a volcanic island, much of the island’s landscape is stone and rock, however there are also miles of beautiful golden beaches from sand believed to have been blown across from the Sahara.


I meet many ladies who feel that they couldn’t possibly go on a public beach in a swimsuit because of their figure.  So let me put this myth to bed right now.  There were people of all ages, shapes and sizes on that beautiful beach.  A few ladies wore one piece costumes, most wore a bikini and some sunbathed naked.  Very few, if any, conformed to the perfect beach body image that we have thrown at us from the media.  No-one took any notice of anyone else; most people looked to me as though they were relaxing and enjoying themselves.  So, if you feel that your size prevents you from wearing a swimsuit to the beach, I would suggest that you are the only person who really cares about it.

Now I understand that some people don’t like to sunbathe and aren’t really interested in going to a beach.  That’s fine – we’re all different.  Personally I find it very relaxing to lie in the warm sun, listening to the waves lapping on the shore.  I think that if you enjoy this too, but deny yourself the pleasure for the wrong reasons then it might be time for a rethink.

Living life the way you want, on your terms is important for your emotional wellbeing.  Don’t wait until later to do the things you enjoy.  The better you treat yourself and the happier you are, then the more likely it is that you will succeed on your Journey to Slim.

A beach holiday can be as healthy or unhealthy as you choose to make it.  There are easy ways to increase your lifestyle fitness while you are away; a walk along the beach, hiring bicycles or swimming for example.  It’s also easy to drink lots of water when abroad too.  It is possible to lose weight on holiday, in fact sometimes I think its easier as you are in a new environment so less likely to mindlessly follow old routines and habits.  It can also inspire you to try new things or maybe increase your determination to win or your Journey to Slim.  I’ve logged on to the computer today to see that fabulous picture of Eva Longoria in her bikini on her honeymoon.  Yes, she’s naturally beautiful, but to have a body that fabulous takes hard work!

If you’d like help with your Journey to Slim, please email


Cosmetic Surgery – Why Not Do The Work Yourself?

Yesterday I had the good fortune to visit the Malvern Spa, and very nice it was too.  The staff were very friendly and attentive and the facilities are fabulous.  Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

I did notice that in addition to the usual spa treatments, there was an advert for cosmetic injections.  I guess that’s not too surprising in this day and age.  However whilst browsing the local Live 24-Seven magazine what really caught my attention, and my horror, was the number of adverts for cosmetic surgery.  I guess I should respect each individual’s right to make their own decisions about their body, however seeing advertorials aimed at 20-30 year olds for anti-ageing treatment is, in my opinion, wrong.  Very wrong.

First, what’s wrong with ageing? To use the well known quote from the unknown author “Don’t regret growing older.  It’s a privilege denied to many”.  You are beautiful whatever your age.  The better care you take of yourself, the better you can expect to look.  Which brings me to my second point:

Why go under the knife, with the inherent risks that involves, when there is so much that you can do yourself if you want to improve your looks – and that most people don’t do?

Let me give you an example. Let’s start with the simple advice that we should all drink two litres of water a day.  Do you? Every day? Me neither.  And yet, when you come across people who do, they are easy to identify.  Generally speaking, their skin glows.  It looks clear and nicely plumped out.  Their eyes shine.  It’s not just the water that does it; in order to consume that much water, they generally forego other drinks that are full of nasties which cause dull skin and contain chemicals that your body has to process.  I recently met a young lady at a training event who looked incredible; petite with a “naturally slim” (do they exist?) figure and glowing skin and eyes.  I watched her at the break, when she took her frozen smoothie from her bag to see if it had de-frosted.  It turns out she makes them at the weekend, freezes them in individual containers and then takes one out the freezer and into work each day.  Co-incidence that she looked so healthy? I think not.

Your body needs certain nutrients to nourish different parts of it.  There is a wealth of information available which will tell you what to eat to enhance particular bodily functions.  If this is new to you and you don’t know where to start, I’d recommend Patrick Holford’s books.  He knows his stuff.  It’s not just a case of eating good food, if you want to truly look your best you need to avoid the bad.  Processing the chemicals in convenience foods can put a huge strain on your body.  If you want to take this a step further, particular issues with your appearance can be traced to a cause.  For example, most people believe that the dark circles under their eyes are due to tiredness/lack of sleep.  This may be true, but they are also a sign of food intolerance.  An experienced nutritionist will be able to ‘read’ your body and advise how changes to your diet can improve both your appearance and your health.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to cosmetic surgery and my issues with it.  It’s becoming too normal.  I asked what’s wrong with ageing? Now I ask what’s wrong with looking like you.  You are unique and you are beautiful.  You probably look a bit like your parents and that’s a nice legacy to carry on.  I’m all for making the best of what you have by dressing to suit your shape and using colour and make up to enhance your appearance.  What seems so wrong is that the current generation appear to be growing up to believe that they should change any of their features which they don’t like – or worse, which other people say they don’t like – in order to fit with the idea of what society deems beautiful.  How about loving yourself as you are instead?

If you want to be less flabby and more toned, then make regular exercise a part of your weekly routine.  You can do this free of charge!  Look up exercise videos on line which show you how to target specific areas, or go for a walk or a run.  Regular exercise can change your shape outside; what you don’t see is the increase in the fitness of your internal organs.  Your mood will improve, you will sleep better and you will have the satisfaction of learning how to manage your own body.

I acknowledge that cosmetic surgery has a place.  I’ve met people who have lost so much weight that they have needed to have the excess skin removed or have had reconstruction after surgery.  Also I get that if you have been disfigured in an accident you may wish to consider it.  My concern comes from the promotion of surgery as a means of becoming beautiful when you are already beautiful – you just don’t see it yourself.  All that’s really needed is a mind-set shift.

Cosmetic surgery promises a quick fix – the opportunity to buy your solution. In this day and age, we want everything now.  Lifestyle fitness seems so slow when compared to the results promised by surgery.  The difference is, of course, that lifestyle fitness can last a lifetime.  Much lower cost, no pain.  Once you have changed your mind-set and habits you have control over your size and your appearance for as long as you choose.

Come and work with me and my team for three months.  We will show you how you can look fabulous now, feel great, slim down and tone up for a lot less money than you would need for cosmetic surgery and without the pain.  In addition, you will change on the inside as well as on the outside and that’s what will make the lasting difference.  We will help you to:

  • Understand your motivation for wanting to lose weight
  • Create a positive mind-set towards your Journey to Slim
  • Understand where you are sabotaging your own efforts
  • Change the old habits which made you fat into some fabulous new ones
  • Overcome obstacles that get in the way
  • Learn how to look fabulous right now
  • Build an exercise plan that works for you
  • Feel confident and fabulous being you

To speak with me personally, email  I promise to reply for a no-obligation discussion on how I can help you.

Feel Your Pain and Gain Your Motivation!

It’s been 20 years since I successfully shed my excess weight and I’ve remained at pretty much the same size ever since.  For a good 15 years before that I was a yo-yo dieter, obsessed with becoming slimmer, angry with myself for failing and continually bingeing on chocolate.

So what changed?

I recognised the pain I was causing myself by staying as I was.

My size made me unhappy.  I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror at all.  It didn’t help that most of my clothes were old and unflattering – at that time of my life I was young, earning little and paying a mortgage which on paper I couldn’t afford – so the idea of spending money on clothes that I hoped to soon slim out of was unacceptable.  My desire to be slim was there every single day, I thought about it constantly.  I was on diet after diet, constantly falling off the wagon and eating anything and everything before starting again on Monday.  I loathed the spare tyres round my middle.  I was continually promising myself that I would do better, then breaking that promise, which caused some serious damage to my self-belief and self-esteem.

I knew what I needed to do.  Don’t we all?  I had a Slimming Magazine Club diet – The Flexible 1000 Calorie Diet – that had served me well and helped me to successfully shift my excess, only to regain it later.  I had diet books, recipes and magazines.  Knowing what to eat wasn’t the problem.  Sticking to it was.



One evening, I was at home with my then boyfriend.  Every evening we had the “Whose turn is it to go to the shop and get the chocolate?” discussion (Of course, I would never buy chocolate to keep in the house, why would I? I wanted to be slim!).   I can’t remember which one of us ended up going to the corner shop that day, but I do recall I was halfway through eating a chocolate bar and drinking a glass of wine when I just thought “I don’t want to do this anymore”.  I realised that my pain was coming from these habits.  The daily debate about who should get the chocolate was a habit and a bit of a game between us.  The wine was a treat, but a habit.  I didn’t want either.  I just wanted to prove I could have them.  But that was what was hurting me.

I think I grew up a little bit that evening. It was my inner child that kept saying “But I want it!” now the adult took over and said “you can have whatever you want to eat, but the price you pay is that you stay the size that you are”.  The adult in me didn’t want to feel the pain anymore.  I didn’t want to play my inner child’s game.  I wanted to be slim, fit and healthy.

20130506_145511Once my head was in the right place, my excess weight melted away and has stayed away ever since.  I didn’t follow a diet as such, I choose lifestyle fitness; changing my habits, thought patterns and I made healthier food choices.  I was motivated.  Going back was no longer an option; I understood that pain was all of my own doing.  Going forward felt so much better.  I got it.  I’d known the ‘what’ for years. Now I understood the ‘how’.

I didn’t want to cause myself that pain anymore.



So what pain is it costing you to stay as you are?

  • How does your size make you feel?
  • How does your weight affect your health?
  • What do you feel you are you unable to do because of your size?
  • What experiences have you had where you felt less than proud of your appearance?
  • How long have you wanted to be slim for? What difference would it have made to your life if you had lost the weight and kept it off back then?
  • Do you feel you are letting yourself down?
  • What difference would it make to you if you were slimmer?

I want to help as many people as possible on their Journey to Slim.  So, for the first time I will be offering 30 minute slots for individual telephone coaching at a reduced price of £19.99 + VAT.  You can book as many or as few sessions as you feel you need, with email support in between.  I want you to understand the ‘how’ too.

To take advantage of this offer and to find available times, please contact


FREE – Change Your Mind – Change Your Weight Online Course

For a limited time, sign up to receive our regular motivation, strategies and tips and receive a FREE copy of our Change Your Mind – Change Your Weight Online Course.

This course will help you to create the best mental approach to healthy weight loss. It gives you the “how to” whereas a diet plan will give you the “what to do”. It looks at some of the key challenges which people face on their Journey to Slim and how to create strategies to overcome these challenges and change your unhealthy old habits for healthy new ones. It comes in the format of 6 modules designed to be completed one per week for 6 weeks.  The usual price is £12.99 + VAT

What This Course Will Help You Achieve:

1) Getting Started: What you need to know to set you on your way, planning your strategy and picturing your fantastic new look when you reach your target!

2) Your Fabulous Image: Creating a positive self image, Planning Rewards and why you must always keep promises to yourself.

3) Introducing Exercise: How to lose weight quicker and achieve a smooth, strong and toned figure by increasing your regular activity.

4) Overeating – Dig Down for the Root Cause: This module looks at other areas of your life to identify if overeating is the symptom of other dissatisfaction or issues.

5) Things to Make You Feel Good!: Building on your learning from week 2, this session looks at why you should treat yourself well and only accept the best for yourself.

6) Strategies for the Long Term: Hints and tips for helping you prepare for the remainder of your weight loss journey.

This course will help you to create the best mental approach to healthy weight loss. It gives you the “how to” whereas a diet plan will give you the “what to do”. It looks at some of the key challenges which people face on their Journey to Slim and how to create strategies to overcome these challenges and change your unhealthy old habits for healthy new ones. It comes in the format of 6 modules designed to be completed one per week for 6 weeks.

On a Diet or Changed Your Diet?

How do you describe the changes which you are making to your eating pattern?  Although apparently subtle, the difference between being “On a diet” or having “Changed your diet” is huge.  Why? The difference is in the permanence of the situation and solution.

What happens when you are “Off the diet”?  For too many people who would love to be slimmer, this seems to be when they believe they can eat whatever and whenever they like, justified by a belief that they will sort it out again when they go back on the diet.  They have given themselves permission to temporarily give up.  Worse, in some instances they feel that they can consciously overeat because it doesn’t count or it doesn’t matter.  It will all be sorted out when they are back on the diet.  They imagine that the next diet will be easier; that things will be better at some mystical point in the future.

My issue with people saying they are “On a diet” is that the words themselves imply a temporary situation.  Changing your diet is a more permanent and relaxed, long term solution, For sure, some days will be better than others, however the message, and permissions, you give yourself by having a bit of cake whilst eating healthily provides a very different end result to coming off the diet for a special event.  No-one is perfect after all, and who wants to say no to a piece of her own birthday cake?

If you do successfully complete your Journey to Slim whilst on a diet, what happens next?  If you return to your old eating pattern, you are likely to regain the weight as it was the old pattern that caused the problem in the first place.  Better to continue with the new eating plan which works for you, so it needs to be sustainable in the long term.

Think about it. How can a temporary change create a permanent solution?

I don’t wish to be harsh, however you need to acknowledge that you aren’t going to suddenly have more willpower in the future.  It won’t get easier, unless you change your approach.  You may feel that a particular situation is your downfall and when that is removed, you will be able to lose weight.  You may be right, but how about learning to handle the difficult situations so that you have a strategy toolkit at your disposal that you can call on at any time in the future, when you face an obstacle.

Every day counts.  Every mouthful counts, whether you acknowledge it or not.  If you want to change your diet to a more healthy version, that’s great and I applaud you and will cheer you all the way on your Journey to Slim.  Small changes add up to a big difference.  I recall reading a magazine article many years ago which showed approximately how many pounds could be lost in a year by making small, simple changes such as stopping taking sugar in hot drinks or replacing sweet, chocolate biscuits with plain ones.  The predicted results were gentle but permanent.

Want to lose weight quickly?  Think about how long ago it was that you first decided to diet.  If you had lost your weight then, once and permanently, what difference would it have made to your life since?  Slower results may not seem so sexy but surely its better to just deal with the problem once and learn how to avoid it happening again in the future?  Lifestyle fitness works!

If you change your mind-set on how you will approach your Journey to Slim, you will change your results.  This is where I can help you.  Please email

Just Say No!

I’ve found myself thinking a lot recently about something which happened a while ago.  That it keeps popping into my mind is prompting me to feel that I should share this with you.

I met a friend for lunch, someone that I don’t know all that well or see often but nevertheless get on well with.  My friend arrived first and kindly ordered a pizza and chips for us to share, which she also generously paid for.  We were chatting away and having a good catch up when the food arrived.  Very nice it was too…..not that I would normally have pizza and chips to eat, but I always say that no food should be banned and it saved me having to cook later in the day.

(As an aside, the pizza was home made, thin based and I always cut the crusts off.  If you are going to eat pizza, that’s one of the best ways to do it)

Halfway through the meal, my friend told me to take the rest of the chips.  Things didn’t start to seem odd until there was one slice of pizza left and she offered it to me.  I declined as I was full.  This was when the “let’s get Helen to eat the pizza” game started.  “Go on….”  she said and kept nodding towards it.  I again declined, reminding her that I was full.  In the end, she took it and ate it herself.

This is the only time that anyone has tried to play this game with me in decades.  In the past, it was a very frequent occurrence.  In those days, I was larger than I am now and of course younger.  I’m not sure which of these factors is the primary cause of people no longer trying to encourage me to eat food which I really don’t want, or whether it’s because when they offer and I decline, they can see I mean it so don’t pursue the issue further.

So why am I sharing this story with you? Well if the people around you are constantly trying to get you to eat the less-than-healthy foods which you are choosing not to have, then you need to put a stop to it.  I think in my instance, my friend knew that if I didn’t eat it then she would, and this was what she wanted to avoid.  For others, it’s a game to see how much they can influence you to do what they want.  Maybe they feel threatened by the positive changes you are making.  Maybe they liked it better when you sat together eating cakes and talking about how diets don’t work.  Maybe they have other motives.

That is not your problem.  You have chosen the healthy path.  Keep focussed on your Journey to Slim and why you want to make positive changes to your lifestyle.  You choose what you eat, not other people.  If you don’t want to eat a particular food, say no and mean it.  Don’t engage in the barter.  Definitely don’t give in – if you do, next time the game is played your opponent is more likely to keep pushing until they get what they want!  You don’t need to explain yourself, a simple “No thank you” will suffice.  If you do offer an explanation, then your opponent will try to answer it, leaving it harder for you to decline:

“No I won’t, I’m eating healthily before my holiday”

“What are you talking about? You look great!  Go on, have some!”


“I don’t like cheesecake”

“You’ll like mine!  I made it specially and it’s much better than you can buy”

Just say no.  There’s nothing to argue with.

If you’d like help on your Journey to Slim, contact

Today’s News: More People are Obese than Underweight

The news today is reporting that in a study completed by scientists at the Imperial College London it was found that worldwide, more people are obese than underweight.  In the period from 1975 to 2014, obesity in men has tripled and more than doubled in women.  So with a global weight loss and weight management market expected to reach $206.4 billion by 2019 from $148.1 billion in 2014 (source: PR Newswire) what is going on?

Tempting as it is to blame images in the media, and I do think that constantly comparing yourself to photoshopped images of “real” people is dangerous and damaging, we can thank social media for showing us ways of increasing exercise via videos and on-line motivation and also making healthy recipes readily available, free of charge, with a few clicks.  Information is so easy to obtain now, if you were starting a lifestyle fitness campaign for the first time today, it would be easy to gain ideas, inspiration and motivation quickly and at no cost.  The information is there.  In addition, the more traditional means of support from slimming clubs, books and magazines is still there. The problem appears to be applying the knowledge provided, in a consistent manner.

What I see time and again is people who would truly love to be slimmer and healthier but despair of ever making it a reality.  Slimming becomes an obsession.  They makes unrealistic promises to themselves, vowing to eat way too little and exercise way too much, jumping on the scales every day looking for immediate results.  When the results don’t show quickly enough, or they have to eat because they are starving, they feel they have failed, give up and eat anything and everything they can get their hands on.  What’s the point of trying if diets don’t work?

Add to this the social pressure to eat and drink and the challenges can seem insurmountable.

Trust me, they aren’t.  You can slim down to a healthy size by eating filling, nutritious food and balancing this with an increased level of exercise, starting gently.

You need to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one moment at a time.

You need to forget diets and learn how to make healthy meals and snacks.

You need to throw away your bathroom scales, forget about weighing yourself and focus instead on learning to listen to your body.

You need to increase the amount you move about each day.  Find activities that you love and look forward to.  Set yourself a fitness challenge. However small it may seem, it will help you focus and will give you an immense feeling of achievement when you can do it.

You need to develop a mindset that is supportive, loving and provides a positive path for you to follow.

Think this takes too long?  How long ago did you first start dieting?  If you had lost your surplus weight once, at that time and kept it off ever since, how different would your life have been since?

All you need is a great set of strategies and you can change your life to create and maintain the figure you want.  If you continue to do what you have always done, you will always get the same result.

If you struggle to do this on your own, email me I will help you.

You can do it!  Let’s reverse the obesity trend!

The Desire for Perfection

Yesterday I completed an online questionnaire to help a young lady with some research for her degree.  The study was looking for a relationship between sport performance, striving for perfection and burnout.  The questions were interesting; Am I perfectionist? Do I think others will like me less if I make a mistake?  What standard do I expect from others?  This has got me thinking.  I remember in my younger day, aiming for perfection was common.  Now I’m older I feel much more balanced in my approach.  But I wonder, do younger people today feel that they are expected to be perfect all the time? It certainly seems that way when I look around me.  Or is it just more visible now that we share more of ourselves via social media?

Perfect isn’t possible.  Of course, we should all try to do our best in the things that matter.  I recently visited Harry Potter World and was amazed and inspired with the time, money, effort and attention to detail that had gone into all the sets, costumes and props to make the films align with the images in J.K. Rowling’s creation.  If you come to one of my events, I will ensure that the experience is as enjoyable, educational and inspirational as I can make it for you.  But does it matter what my hair and make-up look like when I go to the stables each day? Not really.  No need to aim for perfection there!

This is where we are so hard on ourselves.  Choose what matters, then get even that into perspective.  You can only do your best, given the situation you have at the time.  So, if you say that you will never eat chocolate again and you will go running every day then you are setting yourself up for failure.  Much better to say you will only eat chocolate when you truly want to and when it is planned into your daily eating and that you will go running 3 or 4 days each week.  That’s good enough.  It will get you the result that you want, without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.

Why does it matter? Well I see many slimmers who set themselves up for perfection then give up when they “fail”.  Remember a war is a series of battles and just because you may lose one battle – let’s say you succumb to pudding one day – that doesn’t mean you have lost the war.  What makes the difference is that you think it does and give in to further temptation or give up altogether.  To continue the war analogy, if you had been injured in a battle, would you just give up and leave yourself to the mercy of the enemy or would you get back up and keep fighting?

Give yourself flexibility.  Cut yourself some slack.  Perfect dieting doesn’t exist.  Learn what’s good enough and work with that rather than pushing yourself to be everything to everyone.

For further help on your Journey to Slim, contact