A snow day….and my first blog!

Well, it’s snowing outside and I can’t get off my drive so what better time to start my first blog. It’s been an eventful month for me. I have started a social media course (hence the blogging…) and created and run my very first confidence webinar. Only to a small crowd admittedly but that was a practice for the real thing. It felt great to finally be doing it. I have spent so long writing it and practising it that was a real high to actually do it. I was pleased with the feedback as well, especially as it was my first attempt with a live audience. As soon as I have run it with a bigger audience I will launch it publicly. Watch this space.

So what else have I been up to? It’s my 40th birthday in a few months’ time and with this in mind I kept thinking about trying to lose a stone before the big day… I was also hoping that through this I would be encouraged to cook more from scratch and eat proper food rather than ‘food-like products’, I’m referring to you chicken nuggets and fish fingers. I therefore tried out my local Slimming World. I have never been to anything like this before and wasn’t really sure what to expect.

As a confidence coach, I was in two minds about going to the session. I teach my Clients techniques to help themselves feel good about how they are now, not after they have lost weight, so going felt at odds with what I teach. I wanted to go however, to know what it felt like, to really experience it. After all, as my Client base is predominately women aged 30+, the issue of weight keeps coming up again and again. I felt it was important to know what happened at one and what it felt like to be weighed publicly. Was it going to be a ‘walk of shame’ or would it be an uplifting experience as I was taking control of my life? In short, I found it neither. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and very supportive of each other’s attempts to lose weight. However, when I got in there I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. Understandably, all the talk was about food and what the member’s had eaten or not eaten in the week. Those that had been ‘good’ and had lost weight celebrated, those that had had a ‘bad’ week gave reasons as to why. There was nothing wrong with this in itself, it was my perception that made me uncomfortable. I felt that a lot of the people were there because they honestly felt they would feel happier and more confident if they weighed less. As if the number on the scales was a happiness gauge. How many people think…’I would be happy if I can just lose the last stone……’ or ‘I would be more loveable if I could fit in that size 12 dress’ etc. But how true is this?

After all, when we die and our loved ones are reading out our obituary, do they ever mention our weight or our dress size? Do they ever comment on how slim we were or how good we looked in our clothes? No, they focus on how important that person was in our lives, how they made us feel, the characteristics that defined them and the lust they had for life. Not how good they were at dieting or restricting themselves. I’m not against diets per se, although I would question their effectiveness in the long term. What I’m against is how they make people feel, especially when they fall off the wagon and the cycle of guilt/depression/low self-esteem that follows. As a confidence coach I am all about self-love, loving yourself exactly as you are now. No weight loss, hair extensions or six-pack required. Why would we define ourselves by the number on the scales? Does this number give any indication as to our contribution to humanity? To how we make our loved ones our nearest and dearest feel? Do we truly believe that people will love us more if we weigh less? Or that we can only truly love ourselves if we reach a certain weight? I hope this new trend #strongnotskinny that has taken the media by storm, really focuses on having strong healthy bodies and minds rather than just being a size 0. I hope it combines physical strength with mental resistance and compassion for ourselves and others.

I wanted to lose a stone before my 40th as I don’t want to get complacent about my health and let the weight creep up every birthday. However, I do not define myself by my weight and I will be just as happy the weight I am now. My subsequent blogs and Webinar will all be around confidence and what techniques you can adopt to boost your self-esteem. No weight loss required. I truly believe that if you love yourself, you will take better care of your body, eat healthier food and exercise more regularly as you have an appreciation for your body and want to look after it. This is where true confidence comes from. If you lose weight as a result of eating better and exercising and feel stronger because of it, great. If however, you stay exactly as you are, lumps and all, but just feel stronger and healthier than that’s great too. The starting point, as far as I am concerned, is loving yourself, not the number on the scales. I hope you will join me.

Kate McCosh -