You may have noticed the introduction of a 'Healthy Thinking' session on our new 2016 timetable. We caught up with our lead instructor, Bella, to explain a bit more about it:
FoxBlog (FB): What is the Healthy Thinking course?
Bella: It's a 12 week course using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help people change their eating and activity habits.
FB: Why are you keen to stress the difference between Healthy Thinking and say, Weightwatchers or Slimming World?
Bella: If you've been on a diet, you will be familiar with the process of losing weight - then beating yourself up when you put the weight on again, thinking 'if only I could control myself'. Eat less + exercise more is not a sustainable solution. You can change your diet, lose the weight but as soon as you start eating 'normally' again the weight goes back on. This is because thought processes and behaviours will slip back into old habits and often lead to feelings of guilt and failure. The Healthy Thinking course addresses these feelings associated with dieting and arms you with a toolbox of techniques to permanently change your lifestyle in a gentle and more compassionate way.
FB: How is it different from Slimming World and Weight Watchers?
Bella: First of all it's not a diet - no calorie counting, no nasty weighing in. The Healthy Thinking course focuses on changing habits for gradual permanent results. We work with thoughts and emotions that drive eating behaviour and learn to make sense of 'automatic' habits that lead to weight gain.
FB: Who do you think would benefit?
Bella: Anyone who would like to manage their weight effectively and improve their relationship with food.
FB: What will the course involve?
Bella: 12 weeks of bite sized information and sharing sessions with a new skill to try at home every week. In between the sessions the group will stay in touch via an online forum where I will post articles (for the keen beans) and provide motivation.
FB: Why now? Why do you think such a course is useful to our members and customers now?
Most research shows that 95% of diets ultimately fail. And as Albert Einstein once said 'The definition of insanity is doing things over and over again and expecting different results'.
We need to do something different. Something based on real evidence. Something that works.
FB: Why is it important to have measurable results?
Bella: The changes in your mindset during the course will be gradual and quite subtle but will continue to change long after the course has ended. It is important to mark milestones and record even the smallest changes so you can look back and remind yourself how far you have come.
FB: Tell me why you have decided to run the course.
Bella: I am a Mental Health Nurse and volunteer for Positive Step, an organisation delivering group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) courses to people with low mood, anxiety, stress and low self esteem. Having also worked in the health and fitness industry for many years I have been aware of the close link between mental and physical health. I want to teach people to recognise the relationship between thoughts, feelings, physical reactions and behaviour, and give them tools to make sustainable positive lifestyle changes.
FB: What can people expect?
Bella: An inclusive, confidential group course with like minded people and plenty of support along the way.
FB: Do they need to do any preparation before or during the course?
Bella: During the course there will be lots of skills to learn so be prepared to put the work in in between the sessions. Because you are working to change deeply embedded habits it will be a challenging process but there will be plenty of support and guidance during the course to ensure you get the best results.
FB: What topics will be covered?
Bella: Our core topics include - Identifying, challenging and replacing unhelpful thinking patterns, recognising the difference between hunger, craving, and desire, separating emotions from food, self compassion, assertiveness and self motivation.
Interested? The Healthy Thinking course is a 12 week interactive course with one module per week, each session lasting 45 minutes with a maximum of 10 people. It takes place at 6:30pm on Wednesdays at Pure Offices in Kestrel Court. The sessions are included in Fox membership, or for non-members cost 1 credit.
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