The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Is it time to stop the diet merry-go-round?

Are you ready to stop the diet merry -go-round?

How many times have you “tried” to lose weight?

I can tell you from both personal experience and about 6 years of working here at The Body Retreat that trying to lose weight is pretty much setting yourself up for failure.

I started to put on weight after the death of my mother when I was aged six… I literally ballooned over night. I went from a little string bean of a kid to a round faced cabbage ( to keep the vegetable analogy going LOL)

I went to live with my maternal grandmother who was a one woman feeding machine… and one that never said no. I can only surmise that she felt that having lost my mother I should never be deprived of anything else.

Naturally, children push boundaries, test limits, try their luck and so I wanted to enjoy all the treats, snacks puddings and favourite dishes that I could get.

Over the years I just kept on growing , out as well as up.

All through my teens and into my twenties I was always known as “big girl”…its something of a term of endearment where I’m from in Northern Ireland. “What about you big girl”, “Nice to see you big girl”. You get the picture I’m sure.

Of course, there were others who were less endearing…being the but of a group joke as being a pot bellied bear still stings even now some 30 odd years later.

As a young girl I “tried” my first diet…it was called the F’Plan. I was about 11.

It worked …for about a week and then the lure of the puddings and my grandmothers cooking lured me away from the high fibre bran and back on the bacon and eggs.

I was taken to the GP who told my granny off for being soft with me, so we were left to our own devices trying whatever new diet seemed the rage.

My Personal Diet Merry-Go-Round

The South Beach Plan

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Beverly Hills Diet

Slim Fast

Weight Watchers


Decades I have spent trying to lose weight, with varying degrees of success.

It wasn’t until about the ripe olde age of 39 that something clicked…

Shift your Mindset to Shift the Weight

Having studied NLP (neuro linguistic programming) I began to realise that all the negative self talk and feelings I had about food, weight, the way I look, how much I weighed were all mixed up with the feelings I had about my mother, my grandmother, who I was as a girl and now a woman.

I was trying to lose weight by any means necessary but at the same time I found food to be a comfort, it felt like love, food made me feel safe. Why would I stop those feelings!

My brain was filled with so many mixed up messages… and these in turn led to self sabotaging behaviours.

I was like a hamster on a wheel…round and round the diet merry go round I went…getting smaller, getting bigger but getting more and more ground down by it all.

I never found the prefect diet…because that doesn’t exist . If it did there would be no obesity crisis, every one would be slim.

What I found was a healthy mindset…one that let me define myself and let me make my own choices.

I lost about four and half stone and give or take a few pounds (ok who am I kidding I put on 7lbs over Christmas…im only human) I never regained the weight.

Mindset is a Key Pillar of Health

That is why Mindset is the first pillar of Women’s Wellness on all our retreats but the one that is so important on our Weight Loss Retreat. Changing your Mindset is the first step to stop the diet merry-go-round.

Mindset is about acknowledging where you are at, you don’t have to like it, but you do need to acknowledge it. Then start to make small changes that all add something positive to your health. Not because you have to …..but because you want to. Because you care about your body and your health.

Trying to lose weight and keeping yourself stuck on the diet merry go round will grind you down.

Perhaps its time to try something new?

Maybe it is time to change your self talk. Shifting from being negative and critical of ourselves being positive and encouraging



Self Talk Exercise


Get yourself some small index cards or note cards.

On each card write one individual negative thought or belief that you currently hold about yourself, your body and your health.

For example:


I am always going to be fat


I hate my body


I cant lose weight


I am not good enough


I can’t exercise


Next over the next couple of weeks take each card in turn and take 5 five minutes to review the statement you have written.

Now under your original statement write down a new positive statement.

So for example if you wrote “I hate my body” you might now right, “I like my face, eyes, ankles, hands etc etc”. You do not have to like everything but there is always some positive to be found if you choose to look for it.

As simple as it sounds…looking for the positive, no matter how small it might seem helps to move your brain from a negative into a positive frame of mind. You shift from thinking it is impossible, to possible and then probable.



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