New Year means diets, right? Well, not for me (I don’t really believe in diets and I really don’t think that this is the best time of year to be launching into starvation mode anyhow) but I know a lot of you are doing the diet thing. So, get this, apparently if you want to lose weight, you need to cut out the negative ‘fat talk.’
My old friends at Special K have found that women (in particular) are starting off with a mindset destined for failure, slating themselves as ‘fat’, ‘chubby’ or ‘heavy’. Only a third of women actually start diets believing they will lose weight and three-quarters of women have daily negative thoughts about their bodies. Poor bodies.
Life coach Janet Thomson, who specialises in weight loss, says: ‘What women don’t realise is that this sort of negativity can become a self fulfilling prophecy.’ Spot on, Janet! Thought is creative. Keep focusing on being fat and, lo and behold, your mind will instruct your body to do its level best to keep you fat. Seriously, it’s mind-body interface 101.
So Special K are trying to encourage women to focus on positive feelings when losing weight – pinning down what they will gain, rather than what they will lose. Sophie Colling from Special K says: ‘The message is clear, the key to weight loss success is having a positive attitude and cutting out the fat talk.’
And, to push home the message, they are inviting people to go and get a makeover at Westfield in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, to think about what you would like to gain if you had the body you’ve always wanted.
So there we were - ten of us bloggers sitting around on the plush red sofas and looking at the words surrounding us. Freedom. Dazzle. Sparkle. Shine. Energy. Confidence. Oomph.
‘What do you want to gain?’ asked a woman with a clipboard.
‘Umm. Money?’ I said hopefully. ‘A lot of money?’
She frowned slightly. ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have that on my list.’
‘How about wild success? A publishing deal? A Porsche 911? A cabin in the woods?’ She frowned. ‘Ah, sorry,’ I said. ‘Am I aiming too high? How about a pair of Fly London knee-high boots? A big bag of Jo Malone? A hair cut? A fringe?’
‘Sorry.’ She shook her head and I perused the list of acceptable words and the acceptable phraseology and got into a long debate about how most of them didn’t fit – grammatically speaking – into the format.
‘I mean…’ I said. ‘You can’t say ‘I want to gain sparkle’, can you? And even if you could, you can’t go anywhere with it. I mean…I want to gain sparkle to what?’
‘You’re a writer, right?’ she said with a sigh. I shrugged. ‘Sorry.’
We finally decided that I wanted to gain the freedom to sparkle and shine. I felt a bit like an ad for glittery sanitary towels but never mind. It was done. She heaved a sigh of relief and handed me over to Nicoll who was going to fix my hair and makeup.
‘What do you want me to do?’
‘Whatever you like,’ I said. ‘You’re the expert.’ Cos, really, what’s the point of telling someone who Knows What They’re Doing what to do? I don’t get that.
‘Right ho,’ said Nicoll.
A whole flurry of hair spray and backcombing and straightening ensued (yes, more straightening) and when I looked in the mirror I seriously didn’t recognize myself.
Then came the bit I’d conveniently forgotten about.
‘Hi, I’m Joel Anderson. I’ve photographed…’ and he rolled off a list of famous and beautiful people.
‘And now us?’ I piped up from the sofa. ‘What a come down, huh?’
He smiled vaguely with a little frown of confusion. Anyhow, it was painless and swift, a bit like tooth extraction under general anaesthetic and I thought that was it. Finished. We were sitting around chatting and debating what would be the best thing for Jayne to eat at the Thai restaurant given she’d never eaten Thai before, and then up came a shriek. ‘OMG! Look! There’s Alice! Up there!’
Holy shit. Our pics had been turned into adverts and were being beamed onto those huge shifting billboards. The girls looked amazing – one and all – absolutely stunning. Dazzle and sparkle and shine and oomph indeed.
But it was odd. I could see it was me but it didn’t look or feel like me. Not remotely. Maybe I need to grow into the new sparkly shiny me, eh?
NOTE: Today, Monday January 7th , has been designated as “Gains Day” and Special K are asking women to share their positive feelings on twitter at #IWantToGain and also at www.myspecialk.co.uk – the idea being it will help you focus on the positives and achieve your slimming goals. Go for it!
Lovely Nicoll usually specialises in makeup and hair for weddings - do check out her website. www.bynicoll.com