The Guilt Pandemic

We all know that feeling of guilt, when you start to feel guilty for being happy. I have found myself thinking “I shouldn’t be this happy” or “Why am I so lucky?” It’s a syndrome many people are familiar with. But what if there was a cure? What if it wasn’t your fault?

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Studies show that millennials are more prone to the Guilt Pandemic than other generations. It is because we grow up in an environment filled with messages about how much better everything else could be and how wrong it feels to enjoy ourselves while others suffer. We’re constantly reminded of our privilege, told not to take anything for granted, and made aware of every single thing that should make us feel bad instead of focusing on what we have.

Some guilt is good, it keeps us functioning as active members of society, it acts as a driving force to help us make better choices. You feel guilty for letting your friends down so you don’t. A charity advert with a starving child could make you feel guilty if you haven’t donated to charity in a while. This level of guilt is a normal and healthy response.

Increasingly however, we are experiencing disproportionate amounts of guilt for things we have no control over. We can find ourselves feeling guilty for the books and music we loved growing up, the disgraced stars we looked up to – even though we had no way of knowing what they were doing behind closed doors. Feelings of guilt have been found in people because they were born into a white, middle class family. Guilt because they are men. Guilt because someone else treated them differently. Guilt over the environment.

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Healthy guilt, that is directly linked to our actions causes us to change our behaviour and do better next time. This unhealthy guilt mentioned above, cannot be mitigated in the same way, I can’t do anything about being a white, cis gendered female for example. This kind of guilt can manifest itself in your life. It can grow and cause anxiety and depression. It can hold you back subconsciously from getting a better job or buying something you have worked hard for and becomes a toxic force.

We are not our ancestors. I did not take part in slavery, I was not a supporter of the crusades, I did not sexually abuse someone just because I liked a book where, hundreds of years after the authors death, I found out he probably did and I don’t need to feel guilt or shame because of it.

I recycle, I donate to charity, I use a green energy provider and walk wherever possible.

I treat people equally and fairly, I abide by not only the laws of the land I reside in, but also my own and society’s code of ethics and I believe that most people who feel this unrealistic, exacerbated guilt do too (I believe this of most people to be honest, regardless of how guilty they feel). I feel shame when I think about the atrocities humanity has committed before and during my time, but it was not in my name, it was not me and I do not feel guilt and you don’t have to either.

Let’s face it, we all feel guilty from time to time. What type do you experience most often? And why? We would love your feedback on this topic!


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Shedding the Winter CoatShedding the Winter Coat

Did you, like millions of others, fatten up more than just the turkey this Christmas? With the stress, the parties, the buffets, the adverts and scents of Christmas it isn’t any wonder.

Strangely enough this is a survival instinct gone wild, that originated with our tribal, hunter gatherer ancestors. But how can that be when they didn’t even celebrate Christmas like we do?

Even so, the need to fatten up for winter is written into our DNA. Food was more scarce, requiring more energy to find. What could be found wasn’t as nutritious, therefore storing enough fuel to see you through (fat) was essential. This biological coding is still in your amazing mind and it is still reacting to it, creating this need even though food is even more readily available this time of year – causing you to subconsciously want to over-eat.

young woman with boxes while moving out of old home
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By reminding yourself that this is redundant code, that you can eat whatever you like, whenever you like and food is always available actually helps overwrite it. You can check in with yourself before you finish off the last of the selection boxes and ask yourself if you are really hungry – or just eating it because it’s in front of you? Better yet, as we all head back to work, take those selection boxes with you and pass them out at the office you generous soul you (while helping you to reach your goals).

Speaking of food being in front of you, seeing food can actually increase your appetite by a whopping 30%. Not just real food like the mountainous buffet your aunt held for New Year or all the sides laid out at the Christmas table, but also adverts on TV, bus stops, billboards. They all tap into the emotional need to treat yourself and celebrate and they are full of sugar and fat. Going into the shop and seeing it all is bad enough, but then you can smell the cinnamon and spice smells they are pumping through the store. This can set anyone into a constant craving binge where you find you haven’t gone an hour without eating something!

You can’t remove the adverts or live in a hole, but remind yourself again, that food is always available and you are choosing to eat only what you need and stop when you are full. There will be more food. The endless parties can increase the amount of food we see as a portion, so now the festive period is over, it’s best to check again that you are eating the right size servings again.

Eating slower is also a great way to give your incredible brain time to catch up and tell your stomach when it has has enough, so put the knife and fork down between mouthfuls and you will effortless find yourself eating less.

So that covers the buffets and the parties, but now it’s January, we are waking up to the financial headache Christmas and rising bills is fueling and we are more stressed than ever. Going back to our wonderful, hunter gatherer ancestors, when they were stressed a great deal of energy was expelled. Either they fought, they ran or they hid until they could run. The cortisol left their bodies and they felt the urge to refuel. Now, we get stressed and we cannot run, we cannot fight, we cannot hide. We find other ways to sooth ourselves that worked when we needed soothing as children, we eat sweets, we eat chocolate and ice-cream. Carbs and vending machine fodder. Then when the cortisol finally leaves our body, the chemical reaction still tells us we need to refuel and therefore we eat more. If you are an emotional eater, this call to sugar is even louder!

woman squatting on ground while raising both hands
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By finding healthier coping mechanisms and ways to release stress, you can overwrite this coding as well. Nothing in the mind is permanent and it can be affectively changed. By finding ways to relief stress that don’t involve eating (or putting anything else in your body) and asking yourself before you grab a bag of crisps, “Am I hungry, or do I just want to eat?” You can start to notice the patterns and give yourself what you really need instead.

So you can see now how we are wired to fatten up for winter, but how we can change that wiring, update that programming and give ourselves the best start to 2023.

For more bespoke advice, click here to get a FREE Personalised Cheat Sheet specific to your needs.

If there is anything else you would like me to cover, please reach out and let me know in the comments section – I love hearing your views and want to make this as useful a space as possible!

Love Mel x


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Is your diet stressing you out?Is your diet stressing you out?

Are you a mum who’s trying to juggle work, family and staying healthy? Or a millennial who’s always on the go and doesn’t have time for anything else? Or maybe you’re dieting and feeling like you can’t enjoy your favourite foods anymore. If any of these sound like you, then you might be interested in finding out how your diet could be stressing you out.

When you make dinner for the family, do they have the same thing as you? Do you spend time stressing about meal plans and prepping everything in advance or are you a ‘raid the freezer at the last minute for something that isn’t going to cost you a million syns and realising the only healthy thing in there is the cardboard’ person?

close up of holding a menu
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Even going out for dinner and socialising would be stressful for me. How many gins can I have? how do I eek that out so I don’t want to go home at 10? Can I view the menu in advance? What if everyone wants dessert?

So many questions and so much to think about and stress about.

With so much going on in the world, it seems silly to get stressed about being privileged enough to go out for a meal – but it isn’t silly. It’s very real and this stress can be sabotaging the very diet we are trying so hard to stick to.

When we are under stress, our bodies go into fight or flight mode and the first thing to suffer physiologically is our digestion. If we are about to fight and run for our lives, precious energy can’t be used up digesting food. This makes it much harder and slower for your body to get the nutrients it needs.

chocolate cupcakes
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Emotionally, we want to find comfort and ease the stress. Our minds are creating links between the diet and pain. If you were a comfort eater before you started your diet it is likely that although you are trying so hard to change the habit of unhealthy eating, your mind has spent years wiring pleasure to comfort foods. The minds job is to move us away from pain and towards pleasure. So there you are, stressed out, so your mind does it’s job perfectly of sending you cravings for comfort foods and all the things you want to stay away from.

Using RTT I re-programmed and upgraded my mind and body to make the right choices effortless and even pleasurable and I show my clients how to do this themselves as well as being their expert guide through the process. How to enjoy going out and to feel empowered and free by the healthy choices they are making and not imprisoned by them.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed at the thought of starting or maintaining a diet, I would love to chat with you about how I can help remove some of that stress. My goal is to help you enjoy looking after yourself and your health, so get in touch here for more support on your diet journey. With my help, you can make small changes that will have a big impact on your long-term health and well-being.


3 easy tricks to survive your children this summer3 easy tricks to survive your children this summer

You’re hot, You have a million and one things to do between the home, work and trying to entertain the small demons you created that are running round demanding everything, and if you hear “mum” one more time you might just literally explode – but you wont because you know it will still be your job to clean all the ‘you’ off the walls.

I’ve been there, I felt my children were driving me crazy, I was drowning under the constant tide of washing, cleaning and trips to the potty and I couldn’t cope. All these phrases and images were coming out of my mouth and poisoning my mind.

Our minds are so clever and able to do the most amazing things, but they are also undiscerning and pretty gullible. Our mind absorbs and takes in everything we tell it, even when it’s completely absurd.

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Every time I referred to my children as demon spawn, my mind believed it and soon a trepidation took shape that made me feel low at the idea of spending the day with them. Every time I said I was drowning under all my home, parenting and work responsibilities my mind let it in. Every time I told it I was being driven crazy, that I couldn’t cope, that I was useless, my brain believed me and soon I was having physical symptoms. I had panic attacks and felt snappy and at the point I sought help, I thought I might genuinely be crazy – because that’s the appropriate response to the extreme images I was creating in my mind and I had told myself I wasn’t equipped to deal with it.

And the best part, my children are not awful. Not in slightest. My home is not dirty and my work gets done – eventually. All I wanted was to spend time with them, have a picnic or go on a day out but these things all felt impossible to me.

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That was the first thing that needed to change. Being a lover of language, creative writing and all things literature. I had to do something that felt very unnatural. I needed to stop using such negative and emotive language. I needed to stop exaggerating the negative and start telling my brain some useful stuff. – Number 1. Ditch the negative self talk. Your children aren’t demons, hell spawn or anything else you call them. They are your children. You love them. You couldn’t imagine life without them, even if they are challenging at times. Of course you can cope, your success rate for coping to date is 100%, that is amazing. You have phenominal coping skills.

Number 2 – “Will you put your shoes on”, “We need to go, put your shoes on”, “No they are on the wrong feet”, “Where is your other shoe”, “JUST GET YOUR DARN SHOES ON RIGHT NOW!!!!”

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We get angry, we tell ourselves they are making us angry. But are they? Are they not just being mostly age appropriate children thinking it’s funny getting a reaction out of you, daydreaming and wondering what your 3rd favourite Octonaught is. I was making myself angry all those times. I was letting myself get worked up. So I changed tactics, “What are you going to put on first, your shoes or your coat?” usually works but on the days when he is really in daydream land “We are leaving at this time, if you don’t have your shoes on, you will have to walk to the car in bare feet”, is better. I say it once and the responsibility is with him to put them on or not and he will face the consequence. I only had to say it once, I didn’t get mad and luckily he had his shoes on before I had his little sister in the car.

Setting expectations like this and making sure I followed through was key. Some days it was hard, I was tired or foggy and would forget if I had already given a warning and so they would get two or three warnings and I would feel myself getting tense (notice I didn’t say feel my blood boiling, ha-ha). And sometimes even now, I still shout but it’s so occasionally and I know I’m still doing a phenominal job. I do actually have amazing coping skills.

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Finally, make time for them. Book the day out, even if you don’t feel like it. Go for the picnic or the nature walk or have the water fight. I can hear you screaming at me, “when Mel, when do I do that between the cooking, the cleaning and the laundry”. I know you think, I would if I could. But you can. It sounds counter-intuitive I know, but spending time with your children makes more time, and everyone is happier. So you spend half an hour in the garden playing with your children. You come in to get the washing on, and you put it on. You don’t need to fix a snack, answer 20 strange questions or tell them to stop fighting because they are happy and have had attention from you. You start to cook dinner and you are left alone to cook it in peace, and you all have lovely things to say about your day around the dinner table. The house isn’t wrecked because they burnt their energy in the garden so you only had to sweep the floor once. Making time for your children, makes time for you.

Putting these steps into practice, you’ll not just get to survive the 6 week break, but you and your children will get to enjoy it and you might even find a new level of confidence and gratitude from the spectacular way you cope with the challenge of parenting for years to come.

If all else fails, remember that one day they will be potty trained, they will be riding their bikes out with friends and you might even miss the constant screams of “MUM” – until then there is wine.

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