Our desire to be a different body shape to that we already possess is one of the obsessions of our age and so many of us are subject to this at some time or other.


We all know what it takes to be in better shape and unless we are impeded by a medical condition, we know that it could not be simpler: eat better and be more active. Anyone who has problems with yo-yo dieting and ‘workout phobia’, however, knows that it is clearly not that simple. If it were we would all be doing it instead of complaining about it. We want to improve our fitness, we know how to go about it and yet so many of us struggle – clearly there must be another dynamic involved.



The first place to look if we are struggling is to examine our motivation for wanting to diet/workout. If we are having difficulty we are most likely not doing it for the right reasons – we are not doing it for our reasons.  We may be pressured into trying to make change by, for example:

  • Our perception of what other people think of us
  • How we believe we ‘should’ look
  • Trying to live up to the body image the media thrusts before us (the main aim being to shame us into buying whatever they happen to be selling).


If we work at developing higher levels of personal awareness, we are able to bring into sharper focus our own emotions and motivations. This in turn will provide the lasting shift in thinking and therefore habits, that will make yoyo diets and wasted gym memberships a thing of the past.  In short, a well thought through healthy lifestyle program will focus on:


1. Helping to establish realistic goals that reflect innermost desires.

2. A step-by-step plan to achieve those goals.

3. Clearing the mind through meditation so thoughts become less cluttered, allowing distractions to be observed, understood and more readily handled.

4. The removal of guilt, shame, and self-judgement for how we think we look at the moment – and the low self esteem issues that come with them.

5. A positive attitude to a change in lifestyle and the acceptance of setbacks as a basis for continued forward momentum and not a reason for backsliding.

6. Accepting full ownership of the journey and ultimately of the success it will bring.


The success, or not, of a health & wellness programme has a great deal to do with our social conditioning and mental attitudes. If we are carrying burdens of, for example, unrealistic expectations, guilt, and shame – that is the weight loss we need to tackle just as much as unwanted waistlines. By focusing on the inner challenges we face, as an integral part of healthy lifestyle goals, we can achieve a real and lasting change – the way we want it!

Alan Keyse is a fully qualified Business and Life Coach who now applies his 30 years of experience as a sales executive to coaching Emotional Intelligence to business leaders, executives, managers and their staff. Alan specialises in stress reduction; conflict avoidance; & employee engagement.