Make sure YOU'RE in your dreams

I realised I do this.  Or rather, didn't do it.

Didn't add to my goals, dreams, 'perfect day' journaling ... well, I didn't add ME.

I was missing from it!

Me, physically (and ok emotionally too actually) ME.

I was missing.

How can I create my dreams, achieve my goals, dream into creation that perfect day ... if I'm not in them?

If I'm not also at one with me, with myself, happy in my own skin?

If I don't know how that feels, or how I want it to feel?

How can you live a dream life in a body you don't feel is your home?

And actually, domino effect, small actions, small things creating big ones?

Dream big ... and start with finding peace with your body.

It's easy, and it's necessary.

You cannot live a 'perfect' life without being at one with yourself - and that includes feeling good in your skin - WHATEVER that feels like for you.

I believe it's a powerful and easy way to start - you decide, you choose, you see results, you're inspired and you start to BELIEVE.


I was talking with a friend the other night and realised something so important.

We often FORGET to think about our physical selves - or ourselves at all for that matter - when we're thinking about our lives and goals and ambitions and dreams.

We think about the jobs we want, the relationships we're calling in, the creativity we'll share, the places we'll live ...

All those artists, all those beach houses, all those fulfilled lives and all those dreams written down, made goals, made real.

But you know what's missing?

YOU.

The real, actual, physical YOU.

We so easily disconnect with our bodies ... and almost forget about them.

As IF you can create your dreams without also being totally at ONE in your dream body too.

THAT you, me, us .. in the dream life ....

Don't forget to put YOURSELF into the dream.

Not just into it. Into the HEART of it.

You're happy just as you are? That's brilliant. SAY SO.

Don't let your body, health, wellbeing, how you FEEL in YOU not be a part of the big, big dreams.

It's pivotal.

It's important.

When dreaming, setting goals, writing out those perfect day journaling exercises ... do NOT forget to put yourself in them.

Your perfect day begins with feeling comfortable in your own skin, surely, luxuriating in just being YOU, at one with yourself (WHATEVER that looks like for you).

I think it's too easy to forget this - and I believe that firstly it's powerful to consciously add YOURSELF into your dreams.

I also believe in the domino effect, small changes creating big shifts.

And - no matter what you might be telling yourself - feeling at one again in your skin, losing weight if that's what's going to feel good and right to you, is KEY to then also creating all of the rest of the things.

Yep, and actually easier.

It's a perfect starting point. Start consciously choosing, creating, feeling happy in your skin.

Results happen fast .. both physically and mentally.

Don't dream big ... without YOU being in the dream.



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I see you. I am you. I believe in you.

I see you.

I see you, feeling like maybe it's too late, you're too old ... mourning the body you didn't appreciate when you were younger.

Wondering if actually, maybe you'll never in your life be happy and comfortable in your skin.

As we were as children when we and our bodies were one - when our life was a physical one and we climbed trees and played and ate and ran and slept and did it all so easily.

Wondering if it's now inevitable.

Is it too late? Is this just how it is? 

We've been having good lives, eating good food and yes, over the years, putting on the weight.

And now ... it feels like maybe it's too late. That this will keep happening, and maybe that's just how it is.

It's inevitable ... 

I'm here to say I see you.

I was exactly the same. I was scared, actually, really scared that it was too late and that not only would I not be able to lose the weight and feel happy again in my body, but in fact the weight would now just keep creeping on.

And I'm here to say NO, that's not true.

Not only that, but that when I made the decision to face the facts, get on the scales - and then the decision that I WAS going to lose the weight?

Well, you might not believe me when I said after that it was easy.

But it was. 

The hard bit, the really scary bit, was that decision ... the decision not to keep letting it creep on, not to keep hiding from it but to come out and SAY IT.

I'm unhappy at this size.

I'm uncomfortable.

I don't feel at one in my skin.

I'm scared.

After that ... it was easy.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 22.19.20.png

I felt back in control - and that's a huge thing.

And I saw results fast - tiny results, sure, but results - and that's so motivating.

I didn't want to go on a diet, not me who loves cooking and food.

I realised I could create my own - that all these years of cooking and of reading and studying cooking and nutrition ... I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

And that's how the Tiniest Thai diet (named after my supperclub, The Tiniest Thai in London) - based on easy principles of a Thai-inspired way of eating came about.

It's for us. 

Women probably in their forties or fifties, who love cooking and eating ... who would never want to go on a restrictive, bland, temporary 'diet' (again).

This time, something changed in me - and in those who've joined the Thai Diet Revolution - and I've lost the weight for ever - and somehow, slowly, at last changed my relationship with food and eating forever.

In a way that means I still love both food and eating.

So, I see you.  

And I believe in you and know you can do this too.

If you choose.


PS. We are LIVE again!

Come and join the Thai Diet Revolution - we start another live 8-week program on Monday 11 September!



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Paris je t'aime ... 2 nights in Paris

I went with my niece .... just for two nights.

To get some Paris.  I needed Paris, she needed Paris. 

I think a little piece of all our hearts remains in Paris - however mad it sounds, even if we've never been .. you know it when you get there, there's always a little sense of coming home.

We wanted Paris and we wanted Montmartre and the little apartment was perfect, on the top (fourth) floor, on the Rue Muller which leads to the steps which lead to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. 

Steak haché
Rachel Redlaw Paris

The Sacré-Cœur. I cry every time I light a candle there and feel the overwhelming sense of history turning. Those candles that never go out, that each light another, as lives light other lives. I think of history, of people gone before, of my place in the world, my place right here in this place in the world.

There's no getting away from the fact that we live in times that are tense too - the day we arrived there had been another terror attack on soldiers in Paris.

It makes you feel the hand of history even more, I think, and the emotions of the fragility of life and the endurance too.

The Sacré-Cœur is breathtaking and overwhelming and also brings such a sense of peace.

There is a service taking place and the nuns sing and we take seats and stay to breathe it all in, take it all in, take these moments.

Steak haché
Rachel Redlaw Paris

We go back the next day too, to take it all again and carry that essence with us, before we leave.

In the mornings, I stick my head out the little skylight window above the bed in the mezzanine bedroom where you can't stand up straight and see the Sacré-Cœur again.

And we go to the 'Amelie' cafe, Cafe des Deux Moulins and, bien sur, had the crème brûlée (after my niece has camembert with honey and thyme, and I have steak tartare), and we both have red wine.

We stay up talking over bread and wine and cheese from the very good supermarket just five minutes walk away.

Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris

We go out for fresh bread and croissants first thing and to sit with a coffee in the sunshine, before returning for breakfast chez nous.

Later when it rains we choose one of the many gorgeous-looking bistros - Le Sancerre - on the Rue des Abbesses and journal and write companionably together over French onion soup (her) and oysters with a glass of Sancerre (me).

Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris

When the sun is out we browse and walk and discover ... from the huge fabric shop Le Marche St Pierre to peeping into the Museum of Montmartre and the Renoir Gardens to choosing macarons in the most beautiful little shop.

Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris

We walk and walk and walk - and up and down so many flights of steps!

Usually the app on my phone shows 3-4 flights of steps climbed every day, sometimes up to 8 or 9 ... in Montmartre it was 48 flights one day and 37 the next!

We walk to my favourite restaurant for dinner - Bouillon Chartier - after queuing as always to get in, we love the bustle and noise and people-watching.

And the escargots, bread, steak haché and frites ... and all at such incredible value.

Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris
Rachel Redlaw Paris

One last evening walk for a last cocktail sitting outside as it grows dark and one last walk down the iconic steps back to the apartment.

We don't want to leave ... but at just a 15 minute walk to the Gare du Nord and the simplest journey on the Eurostar back to St Pancras, agree not to leave it so long before returning.

After all, a little piece of my heart lives here.



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If you don't choose your habits, they'll choose you

If you don't consciously decide what you want, consciously create your life?

Guess what?

Yep. Life happens anyway.

And like many things, maybe it's easier to start small, rather than big, like, well, LIFE.

Smaller things get you into the HABIT of creating what you want and achieving them and building that practice.

Small things add up to become big things (I know you know this, I'm not being patronising, just thinking out loud).

And talking of habits, habits are a great place to start.

If you don't consciously choose your habits ... guess what?

Your habits will choose - and define, BECOME you. Part of you.

What you do and what you choose is who you are - and you can change that at any time.

Without consciously choosing habits you might find habits find you ...

The habit of watching TV mindlessly.

The habit of endlessly scrolling Facebook, looking for something, anything interesting and thought-provoking.

Oh and similarly, the habit of feeding yourself food that doesn't have the nourishment, the nutrition, your body needs and craves, so again you're left hungry, endlessly wanting more.

But what more?

Housework habits, 'duty' habits, oh-I-have-to-do-the-ironing habits ... then flop on the sofa for some TV.

THESE habits are often masking that you haven't CHOSEN your true 'YOU' habits.

Well, not so for everyone I guess.

I suppose some people genuinely choose to do these things (and for most people YES sometimes) ... and that's great ... but when it's not a choice, it's a mindless HABIT?

You know you can choose another habit?

Starting with perhaps how do you WANT to feel?

NOT how do you currently feel.

Giving in to the voice of the how you NOW feel will NEVER move you into being how you WANT to feel, to be.

You have to consciously choose it.

How you want to feel and who you want to be.

The person who gets home after a long day (ok, many long days, this isn't a one-off) and eats a takeaway full of goodness-knows-what whilst slumped in terrible posture watching - well, do you even know what? - on TV.

YES, sometimes.

But also, YES you're exhausted and stressed and tired ... but you CAN also choose other habits.

It doesn't have to be hard.

Some things (including plenty of recipes on my site) are easier and quicker to cook fresh than to heat up or order in.

And it's all about TRUE self-care and looking after you.

That means choosing a shower, choosing a great book, choosing a quick stretch or yoga online practice to keep it easy (I do).

(I'm not saying you instantly turn into someone who wants to go to the gym at 9pm, but hey you MIGHT choose that, now you think about what you want to choose).

It might mean writing, journaling, a Skype with a friend, learning something new.

Habits become non-negotiables in your life (like cleaning your teeth).

Mine aren't (yet) always so, but I really, really now feel it and miss it when I don't for whatever reason DAILY:

- journal in the morning
- make good food choices that nourish me (and taste great of course)
- move my body in some way (usually Yoga With Adriene
- personally I also love to cook so a day without cooking something makes me feel 'off'

Ha! Just caught myself I thinking I need to think of more than these three / four ... but WHY?

I'm all about making it easy and you know it's actually not always that easy to do those three or four key things.

Isn't that funny, how our human brains almost want to make things HARDER?!

These are my chosen habits - that make me feel great, give me a foundation for my day - when I do them I feel stronger, clearer, more able to get everything else done.

I'm going to choose to add in a short 10-minute meditation practice soon but for now making my journaling and yoga practice daily - allowing it to become daily - allowing that time for me, to say that time for me daily is precious, is a PRIORITY ...

I'm still learning to make that my reality.

What are - or will be - your chosen habits?

The ones that make you YOU, the you you choose to be?


It's not all or nothing - you can do SOMETHING!

It's not all or nothing ...

I know, I know, right? I talk about this all the time in my diet group ... and yet ...

Sometimes you find yourself with words and thoughts that are still coming from that way of thinking.

So in Paris, last week, we were staying in an apartment on the top floor, four floors up.

RACHEL REDLAW PARIS

And we were at the foot of the Sacre Coeur, climbing up and down those iconic steps with those lamposts many, many times a day.

Here's the screenshot of my steps/flights climbed app on my phone - yes, my usual number of flights climbed daily is around 3 or 4, going up to 10 on occasion.

In Paris, I did 48 and then 37.

Not deliberately - because that's just how it was.

And I was talking to my travel companion, my beautiful and clever niece, about how maybe when I got back I should try going up the 8 flights of stairs to my office ... (and UGH, I've tried it a couple of times and UGH).

RACHEL REDLAW PARIS

She suggested I walk up four flights then get the lift the next floor ... and build it up.

I don't know why I haven't ever considered this before - but I hadn't.

I started doing it when I got back and it's perfect ....

What can you do to make things easier? Start them slower? Make it more sustainable, something to build on?

This was a great lesson for me ... and I'm now thinking where else I can apply it ... 



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How do you WANT to feel? (Not what DO you feel like?)

It takes just a split second.

One decision.

As my favourite poem says:

'In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse'.

The question isn't 'what do you feel like doing right now'?'.

Well, not usually, the question is, 'what do you want to feel like? what is the outcome, the result you want?'


I fell out of my daily yoga habit that made me feel so great, strong and good.

There was a mini heatwave (but hey 35 degrees in a small Notting Hill flat is too hot for yoga).

So that was a few days ... and I wasn't feeling it.

Rachel Redlaw me on yoga mat

But I missed the outcome for sure .. but somehow, seemingly not enough to get back in the habit.

Why is that?

That the things that make us feel great, that we KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt are GOOD ... we still resist.

And then I jumped and fell and was shaken up and covered in bruises and couldn't even THINK of a downward dog without wincing.

But that was ten days ago and it's been totally nagging at me that I haven't got back to my daily practice.

The last few days, honestly, I've been pretending that I'll just do a short practice - that 7-minute one - but guess what?

I didn't even do that.

Today ... I got sick of myself and my excuses for not doing what makes me feel great.

And I did it fast!

I decided I wanted the outcome.

I wanted to feel how good I feel after half an hour of yoga.

Mat out. Did it.

And yep, feel great.


It's always about the outcome, the result, the desired feeling.

Never about what you feel like in that moment.

Sometimes the two are the same.

Sometimes they're not.

But it's that easy (and that hard, I know).

Practice, remembering how good it feels to make that decision - makes it easier, makes that choosing-the-outcome-muscle easier to exercise.

What's the outcome you want?

Choose THAT action to take.



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Try a 'gratitude practice'

I have a 'gratitude practice' and I've kind of been making fun of it myself for easy laughs at work ... but actually it's important to me and is a habit that subtly shifts one's focus from grumble to grateful.

Rachel Redlaw gratitude practice

I do it the simplest way possible - I have an alarm set (for 5pm which is why I'm at work when I do it - I might have to switch to an early morning or later night practice to do it with full focus).

And it takes literally seconds - it's all about taking a moment to be happy and grateful 'for small mercies' as the old saying goes.

There's a lot in that saying.

And there's a lot in choosing to do this practice at a regular time.

Yeah, some days you'll skip it. Some you won't feel grateful at all (but I'd say still do it if you can DESPITE not feeling like you're in 'the zone' for gratitude. So what? Do it anyway.


Just five things you're happy and grateful for.

Small things, big things, when-your-mind-goes-completely-blank (like mine did today and I declared I was happy and grateful for Jaffa Cakes) - who cares anyway?

It's kind of fun, it's kind of grounding, it's a great practice for (most of us) to see that we lack actually very little.

There are some things you might be grateful for every single day and that's fine.

You might choose five totally random things that happened that day, and that's fine too.

No rules, just taking a few minutes to note what you're happy and grateful for.

It's so easy to grumble, to moan and it's so easy to be mocked for being any sort of 'Pollyanna'.

This practice isn't about that at all.

It's about tuning in, just briefly, to feel what is actually a very deep and important emotion - in recognising gratitude.

And, as with all habits, you start to build it up, and notice more and notice when you are feeling gratitude (and it's not a feeling we're usually very used to).

It calms, centres, grounds me, to do this.


Today ...

* I am happy and grateful for all the interest from the most perfect potential clients/guests for my (inaugaural) Tiniest Thai retreat(ie) in Spain in September - honestly so excited in the most calm, wonderful way

* I am happy and grateful for my health today, I really feel a need to allow in full gratitude for it and not take it for granted

Rachel Redlaw gratitude practice

* OK, I'm happy and grateful for Jaffa Cakes! AND I achieved the Holy Grail of Jaffa-Cake-Eating by freeing the orange jelly

* I'm happy and grateful for all my friends who are supporting me and enthusiastic and want to come on my retreat - my amazing community of fabulous friends

* I am happy and grateful that today my mum has had some health help and such a simple thing as getting a new prescription for her glasses might make such a difference to her life

See how easy it is to quickly write down five?


Rachel Redlaw gratitude practice

I think writing them is important, it does something different to how you feel and recognise them ... just start using a 'notes' app or google keep or - ha (I never even think of it!) write them in an actual journal. (Say whaaaaat?!!)

I am so grateful to be planning this first Tiniest Thai Retreat in Spain in September (and yes, starting this practice is just one of the new habits we'll be exploring during our time together).

I am so grateful that one perfect wonderful guest has signed up - and yet also grateful that there are still THREE places left to join us.


DON'T throw away the scales

Y'know, I'm getting quite angry about this now.

I've seen it for years of course, and I even fallen for it a few times myself (always without result of course).

What is it?

The exhortation to 'throw away the scales'.

To be 'free of the scales'.

Bullshit.

Sorry but it is.

YES, this works for some people - and I'll tell you which people too.

* It's a great move for girls who are or have been underweight, too thin.

* Those who've lived with, battled, eating disorders.

* Young girls just starting out on a 'lifetim'e of dieting - yes, you 'throw away the scales' people, you draw them in.

I definitely see exactly why for these people, ditching the scales (and all the associations) is a good thing.

But I do NOT agree it's good for us all.

Especially not for those of us who find ourselves loving food, hating our bodies, overweight and in denial in our forties.

I see it as incredibly bad advice.

We ALREADY hide from the facts.

We already pretend reality isn't real.

That, actually, we'll even tell anyone we want to lose weight ... AFTER WE'VE LOST SOME WEIGHT.

Why?

Because we can't bear to stand on the scales.

FUCK THAT BULLSHIT.

It's not for us.

What WE need IS that reality check.

First, we need to face facts.

Get on those scales, yes cry if need be (I did) and then it's a fact - it's done.

And get back on them EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Why?

Precisely BECAUSE weight isn't precise!

Yeah you *can* weigh weekly if you want (and play all those tricks every single person who does a weekly weigh in at Weight Watchers does).

But the daily ... what it does is take the emotion out of it.

We DO fluctuate - sometimes a lot - day to day.

And SEEING that every day (but a more gradual overall decrease) helps.

Helps understand that it's just a number.

Understand that it's a fact.

It has no emotional meaning.

AND ... weighing daily stops us from getting so scared again that we put it off ... and put it off ... and get more and more scared ...

It's not scary it's a fact.

You wanna know the truth or not?

To come back to the start ... as a 40-something with weight issues over the years?

It's NOT helpful to be gleefully told to 'throw the scales away'!

It doesn't work for us.

We have several decades of messy relationships with food, with weight, with OURSELVES to talk about first before a GIMMICK that most likely will see us PUT ON WEIGHT.

We're the hiders.

The ones who eat great food (but too much of it).

We don't need to be encouraged to hide any more.

ETC.

You get my drift.

So get the scales back out.

Confront the fear.

Learn to notice each day - oh, three pounds lighter, oh two pounds heavier.

Learn to notice your body - one day heavier, one lighter.

Learn to not be fearful; it's a fact.

And also - for most of us- we can then set a goal, and achieve it.

In tune with our bodies, in tune with what we're eating.

In tune with our goals.

At last.

THEN .. EASY.


LOVE ... real self-love

In my journaling this morning I was exploring why it can feel so hard just to do the things that make you feel good, that really nourish and nurture you ...

I KNOW I feel better, stronger, calmer, happier when I practice yoga every day but I stopped during that heatwave a couple of weeks ago and despite knowing how good it makes me feel ... I fell out of the habit.

So last night I got my mat out and yes - it was only a 7-minute practice - but the 'hard' part was deciding, and getting the mat out. And deciding at 10.30pm to make time to start again right then - that felt really good.

Same with my 'daily' journaling - I'm not sure how but the last few weeks it's only been maybe half the week.

And I really notice the difference - spending that 15 mins or so with my own thoughts and affirmations, my own 'stuff' - before reacting to other people's and 'stuff' and well, the WORLD, clears my head, sets me up for success - again, how does it sometimes feel so hard to do what we know will feel so good.

More than that, what we NEED really.

Same with food choices, same with so many areas of life.

And as always it's simply about making a decision, a commitment and making real 'self love' a priority.


Rachel Redlaw real self love

PS. My fave 'LOVE' tee by Ruth Ridgeway at ruthxo.com


Who do you want to be? What's your identity? Who are you?!

You know sometimes, when you realise you've been identifying with something ... and realise you don't have to? That you can change that belief. And that it doesn't define you.

That's how I was with smoking ... I smoked 20+ cigarettes a day from 16 years old until 38. And when I stopped I was worried about WHO I WOULD BE.

It sounds insane, but my identity was as a smoker. I wondered who I would be as a non-smoker.

The answer of course, was me ... the same as I was as a smoker during all the time I didn't smoke. If that makes sense.

It really made me think though - I'm glad I realised it but it felt stupid and I wondered why I wanted that identity, why I was actually worried about who I would be without it.

That was 9 years ago now.

Last year when I decided to lose weight I thought I'd like to get back to a (UK) size 14.

It felt like an achievable goal, and it felt like a size where I would feel 'normal'.

I also identified that it was a size I'd been happy at as an adult and had been kind of default size for me - I loved getting smaller and hated getting bigger but 14 felt 'enough'.

Well, then I became a 12 and THEN decided to reach for more, be braver, bolder, go for what I really want - and hadn't been, hadn't lived in my body at a small size as an adult.

But why should that mean I couldn't? Why shouldn't I choose the big goal?

Why not say it, go for it, commit to it? Just because you haven't done it before, doesn't mean your life has to be lived in where you've been comfortable before.

And ... I've never been very fit, well, since a child/teenager who loved sports and running and ballet.

Not part of my identity.

Not until now. I've been softer, curvier, warmer ... as a child I was lanky, free, needed movement.

So I'm now making that my identity too.

I am going to become the fittest I've ever been in my life.

This is BRAND NEW!

Fit and strong and lean (and still soft).

I don't know why I've been scared of saying it, wanting it, doing it.

But now I do.

We can choose our identities, shrug off those that no longer serve, that in fact hold us back.

What do you really want?

Who do you want to be?



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9 reasons NOW is the right time to start the (Tiniest Thai) diet

ONE

Starting a diet, starting anything.  

All it REALLY needs is a conscious choice and a confident DECISION!

I AM GOING TO DO IT.

Why not make that decision now and get started, rather than having it half hanging over you, with that feeling of you KNOW there's something you want to be doing, but you're kind of pretending it's not there because for whatever reason you don't think you can do it, or you don't want to do it, right now.

You CAN do it.

DECIDE.

It feels so much better when the decision is made!


TWO

It's still (just) June and at the end of 8 weeks, if you got similar results to me, you could have lost 20 pounds.

Other Thai Diet Revolutionaries have had similar results - HERE's some of them.

PLUS during that time you'll be feeling more and more comfortable again in your skin (and your bikini - ok, or summer dress).


THREE

Why wait?

I think there's a correlation between 'wait' and 'weight' - when we put our lives on hold waiting for when we're this or that, when we're thinner, in another job, a different person (ha!) THEN we'll do x, y, z. How about just do it NOW?

HERE's the full post if you want to read more.


FOUR

Because we start the live, group round on Monday 10 July and after that we close until the Fall.

So if you do want to lose a few pounds THIS summer, now's the time to do it.


FIVE

Hmmm, I just remembered there's people for whom it's NOT actually currently summer!

Well, then I guess for you, why not now?!

Why wait a couple of months when you could just START.

And I bet the weather's better than it is here right now anyway!


SIX

There's a discount if you sign up before midnight BST on Sunday - we don't start until the following Monday 10 July.

The $97 off the full $297 price is to say thank you for your decisiveness (in joining early) and patience (as you then have to wait a week!).

Both decisiveness and patience are qualities that are great for achieving your goals! 


SEVEN

OK, this isn't actually time sensitive at all but most of the food on the eating plan is so simple to cook from scratch and really fast to make too.

Who doesn't want to get some time back each day to do what they love or spend with those they love, whilst eating delicious food AND losing weight?!

Win, win, win.

EIGHT

Because you want to lose some weight and you're kind of excited about actually doing it and kind of nervous and I want you to know that you can do it, it won't be difficult and you'll have our community of other Thai Diet Revolutionaries on your side and cheering you on?

THAT's a good reason!


NINE

Talking of support from the group, I am also always available ALL the time there, or for a chat on messenger, or a quick call or skype to help with ideas, general support, to talk something through, just to catch up and hear how you're doing. 

I really want you to know that you're supported and welcomed into this way of eating.

This is NOT some PDF course, or self study thing, we're a group of real live people, and I love those conversations and connections.

And I want to start as I do go on and extend that kind of individual personal conversation even BEFORE you join.

If you've any niggling concerns about joining, or questions, or just wondering if this is right for you - let's talk. Let's talk and then you can decide if it's a great big YES or a definite NO for you.

Zero pressure from me to join - I am just as keen as you to make sure this is something that's right for you before you join.

So if you want to book in and discuss ahead of joining, here's the link to find a time in my calendar that's good for you.

And even if it's not right for you and you don't join, there's nothing lost and we're sure to still have a great chinwag about food and eating and life! 


The little dog with big self esteem

You can see by the way he stands that this is a little dog with a lot of confidence.

Sure of himself, happy, secure.

That stance, full of pride and contentment, almost looking like he's surveying his empire.

That tail, upright and sure. He's interested and alert and eager - and he rarely doubts himself.

In fact, he usually believes he can do anything.

In the very best way, he feels he is entitled to good things, for things to go well, to be loved for being him and even to get to sleep in a huge bed (well, sometimes!).

Rachel Redlaw Rocco
Rachel Redlaw Rocco

And I think that's partly his character, partly the traits of his breed and partly the way I talk to him. 

Every day he hears how great he is, how clever, how funny.

Every day, many, many times a day he hears things like, 'YOUR'RE THE BEST!' and 'I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!'.

So much positive reinforcement, positive messages for the whole 8 years of his life. 

And I do think it's got a lot to do with it.


Which every now and then gets me thinking that this is not the way a lot of us speak to ourselves.

Language is so important, and the way we talk to ourselves has such an impact.

Many of us talk to ourselves in a way would NEVER talk to anyone else - we can be harsh and judgemental.

Our inner voices often tell us that we're not great or clever or funny. 

We tell ourselves we should do more, could do more, aren't doing enough and what we're doing isn't good enough.

We can be very harsh on ourselves and yes, just sometimes, it might be useful and the push we need.

But often I think we could do with giving ourselves a bit more praise and love.

I think if we told ourselves several times a day, 'YOU'RE THE BEST!', 'YOU'RE SO GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO!', 'I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!' etc etc, it would have a big effect.

No more, 'mm I'm not sure that's good enough'.

A lot more, 'that's fantastic, press publish!' would go a long way.

Even just as we go about our daily lives, an inner voice could be encouraging us, bolstering our confidence and courage and growing our ability to create, share, grow and help.

To be the people we were meant to be, want to be.


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The connection between 'weight' + 'wait'

Wait + weight.  

They've definitely got some connection over and above having the same sound.

You know those times you realise you've kind of put your life on hold, waiting to live it when ... when you've lost weight, when you've done something else, when you feel 'ready' or good enough or whatever it is and certainly for me I put on weight during those times of waiting.  

When I look back those times were when I was 'waiting' in other areas of my live - so in a relationship that wasn't right or good but that I was kind of frozen in, not seemingly able or willing to make a change, or in a job with a bullying culture that I'd sort of started thinking was normal and ok ... and the weight crept on.

It's also been times where the weight WAS the cause of the wait itself ... me avoiding the weight gain, pretending I was happy, ignoring what was happening.


And actually you can change the WHOLE THING, the whole domino effect in your life ... by changing one thing. 

You don't have to really DO anything but DECIDE and then, then it's easy ... but making that decision feels ridiculously hard!

Until you've done it of course and then you look back and think what took me so long, why did I WAIT like that?

I literally had to get to the point where I was SCARED that I wouldn't be able to do anything about my weight and that it was just going to keep going on and on and on, slowly, as it had done for years.


I also hid from it.  I love food and cooking and sort of hid behind that as a reason (excuse) why I couldn't, wouldn't, be able to lose weight.

And I lied too - I was eating much more alone than I did when with others - not what I've always imagined 'binge eating' to be, like bags and bags of crisps or sweets or cakes ...

I just ate probably enough for two or three people and would eat - very good - food but to excess.

I knew I was doing it but it felt as thought I couldn't stop - it's kind of difficult to understand now I look back but in some way I was hiding behind it and I suppose keeping myself stuck but keeping in that mindset and in that body.


Sometimes it can be comfortable in a way just keeping on doing what you're doing - even at the same time as you wish you could jump straight to the outcome and result, without taking action or making it happen yourself.

Honestly though that day I just looked at myself and thought NO MORE, it's starts NOW was the hardest day and then also the easiest.

It was GOOD finally feeling that I'd made the decision, no more hiding, no more pretending - to be happy with my weight, in my body, that I wasn't eating as much as I was - just one foot in front of the other and keep going, make the small changes I KNEW would work if I just did them.


For the first time in years I stood on the scales and confronted the fact that I was the heaviest I'd ever been. The weight itself doesn't matter - it's all about how you feel and if I'd GENUINELY felt good and happy at that weight, well that's great .... but I didn't.

I was unhappy in my skin and when I stood on the scales that day I felt real fear - ridiculous though it sounds - because I hadn't looked at the facts for so long and had hidden from the facts and the scales. I weighed myself, and cried a bit, and then DETERMINED that that day was Day 1 of just starting to take responsibility and make changes.


After that, the wait was over, and the difference in how I felt changed pretty much straight away.

The wait was over and the weight started to come off.



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Do you eat Thai food with chopsticks?

Short answer, no.

In my experience, it confuses polite Thai people when Westerners ask for chopsticks in Thailand (well meaningly thinking they're acting in the correct local manner) and because they are so polite, you'll probably receive the requested chopsticks.

But, still no.

Thais use chopsticks for Chinese dishes and often for noodle dishes (often Chinese-adapted recipes) where the chopsticks are the best tools for the job.

Otherwise, they use a spoon and fork.

Fork in the left hand, just like we do.

Spoon in the right, in place of a knife.

The knife isn't needed as the meat will be chopped already.

And that's it.

It's the easiest, simplest way of eating and usually I eat this way now all the time, as I eat a predominantly Thai-style diet.

Super easy and works so well!



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Being your best version of you

This is what it's all about really, isn't it?

When we really get down to it, this is what's really going on.

We have this yearning inside, even if don't recognise what it is.  

This feeling that something's not right, that it's 'off'.

When we're not fulfilling our potential it, somehow irks, it niggles away at you ... sometimes (like me, for YEARS) and you kind of know things aren't RIGHT, but then again, well, they're not WRONG are they?

You're going through life like everyone else, going to work, going on holiday, passing the time, but y'know, as time passes (and passes), that urge gets deeper, that feeling that there MUST be something more.

And for us? It's even worse isn't it?  We always KNEW there was going to be more, but never knew what it was going to be, waiting for it to happen.

And now, realising that it's not going to happen.

I'll just keep turning up for work, keep doing STUFF to fill the time, not even GOING THERE with what that deep deep down LONGING is trying to say, that's trying to come to the surface.

When we were younger we just KNEW we were destined for more, but we thought destiny would find us.

After what, 20-something years of living a multiple-choice-life ('I'll choose from this, this or this that I can see in front of me) we realise ... hold on ... what do we REALLY want?

We can CHOOSE.

We can choose our lives, our reality and we can then make that happen.

THAT is being the best version of you, the one that allows those feeling to come up, searches them, finds what we really want ... and then we start to go down that path.

For me, it was both big (leaving a job to create the mind-space and time to play with, have fun with, finding what I loved) and small (what I started with - I just started a blog about Thai cooking - but oh goodness that was HUGE for me - the first creative thing I'd done for years, the first thing I was excited about, the first thing I'd done because it was truly because I HAD A MESSAGE and it wanted to come out and I wanted to share).

The best version of me was to give myself - for the first time probably since a child - time to create and share - sharing was important to me. 

I look back now and despite having had an on paper great life with great friends and family and relationships ... I was a bit stuck. I was bored, to be honest, bored with myself.

And I didn't really give anything either, this is a two-way thing! I don't think I gave much in hindsight. Creating and sharing helps with GIVING and giving makes you more open and being more open leads to more creativity, more love, more people, more ideas .. just more LIFE.

And then there was the unsaid unhappiness with the weight gain.  I put it on I think now because I was stuck in other areas of my life - it's definitely 'chicken and egg' on this one.

So if you don't want (yet) to start digging deep and working on finding your real inner motivations and creativity but you're unhappy with your body, your fitness, your food, your relationships, your weight ... well, I'd say start with tackling one of those ... 

When we start confronting, being honest about, tackling, taking control of ANY ONE area of our lives we're not happy with, it starts a ripple effect.

Taking ACTION at one area of becoming YOUR best version of you, that's all you have to.

For me, as I started creating and sharing ... I became even more aware that I was unhappy in my own body.

I had started to believe that when I DECIDE something and choose actions that will help me get to my goals then that's what happens.

DECIDING is the main thing.

BELIEVING it next.

SETTING THE GOAL and then just EYES-ON-THE-HORIZON focused just taking the actions and choices to get there.

You have to choose. But only most of the time - some times you make other choices (of course it's not a straightforward linear process - we're human!).

But once you've made THE BIG choice, you just focus on the goal, the horizon, and go for it.

Little changes, small results = huge happiness at stepping into being the figurehead of your ship.

One area of life moves to another, you see changes and feel excited and empowered and 'why didn't I do this before?' - and you know, that doesn't matter. You're (we're) doing it now.

Life leads us to THIS point and NOW is the only point that matters.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of you (whatever that looks like to you). 

Mine included losing weight and feeling really happy in my skin ... and starting to achieve that lead to wanting to be fitter and stronger.

All of it comes together for my big vision for myself as the very best version of myself - I now KNOW I can have it all (as I define having it all for me).

I think we have a tendency - and I don't really know why - to think we can't have it all.

We can be successful in business ... but not look after our health.

We can have healthy, happy bodies .. but maybe our relationships suffer. Etc etc etc.

NOW ... step into IT ALL.

Set ALL THE GOALS! Decide and choose and go for it.

Choose one at a time - I promise, one will lead to another.

Or choose all at once.

And especially for those of us with a few decades of life experience ...

Well, I think once we choose to hear the calling, listen to that little voice, refuse to accept that the weight gain is inevitable, that it's 'too late' to achieve our big goals or whatever it is ... we know ourselves well enough to just go get it all.

In the way that best works for us. 

It can be easy. It can be fun.

And step-by-step, keep going, keep taking the steps, be bold, be brave, become YOUR best version of you.



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Saying YES to your dreams

A week or so ago I wrote this post about how getting to achieve your goals means saying NO a lot of the time.

To things you don't want to do, to stop being a yes-person people-pleaser, but more importantly also to things you DO want to do!

So, you're gonna have to prioritise!

And if you SAY you want to reach that goal, then y'know, you do actually have to CHOOSE to spend the time on actions that will help you reach that goal (rather than socialising, watching TV, family gatherings, sleep, whatever it is).

But .... and this is where I think I might have misrepresented myself in the great urge to try to combat all that, 'but I'm soooo BUSY!', (poor little old me) negativity people say as an excuse (oh I do hear myself do it sometimes too of course).

Fine, don't go for your goals then, but don't WHINGE about it!

Anyway, digressing ... because what I WANT to say is actually that ...I think I misrepresented myself.

It's not a negative to say no.

It's not (usually!) hard to get less sleep, to be here writing and creating at my Macbook and talking with people rather than watching TV.

And why?

Because actually, it's not about - really - saying NO.

It's ALL about saying YES!

And that's what makes it easy (well, usually!).

Saying YES, a great big huge YES to my dreams and my goals.

THAT's what this choice is all about.

And yeah, often it's a hard choice, it's occasionally a lonely choice, but it's 100% MY CHOICE to say YES to making the choices I make that are the ones that will move me towards reaching my goals.

I want to share what I've learned and I want to impact MILLIONS!

I want to make the Tiniest Thai Diet the most successful, globally recognised, way of changing your mindset forever around food there has EVER been.

I want to share my message, and write and speak and connect with people.

So YES, I say NO a lot ... and yes I push myself.

Because I'm really, truly, actually saying YES to my dreams by doing so.

It is about saying NO ... to make space for the huge HELL YES to creating your life.

Reframe time - if you thought my previous post was berating you for not turning down things you want to do - well, I didn't mean it that way.

I meant, and mean, that to make that choice a YES rather than a NO means always keeping the goal in mind.

Keep taking the actions needed to get the results you want.


You CAN lose the weight you want easily; just DECIDE

You know what I really really really want to say?

Well, it's THIS.

You CAN do it. You can do it.

You can lose the weight you want to lose and feel like YOU, the you inside.

I put on weight fairly slowly but for years, and I kept hiding from it because I didn't want to confront it.

I didn't want to go on a 'diet' because I love good food and I love cooking.

And then I became more than a little uncomfortable.

I actually found it difficult to bend down to put my shoes on.

I definitely wasn't happy in my body.

I wore clothes that fitted rather than choosing what I liked - and by fitted I mean they were loose and hid me as much as possible.

I didn't know how to stop putting on weight.

I really, really, really didn't want to go on a 'diet'.

So I created my own and it's the best thing I ever did - and now I just want to share it with those of you who like me, love cooking and food and socialisng .... but HATE the idea of a restrictive diet - plus we're plenty clever enough to know that if you go on a temporary diet, you'll only put the weight on (and likely more) when you go back to your normal way of eating).

And we'd HATE those weeks of being on the 'diet' too!

You know, the one biggest factor wasn't actually my eating programme, or changing how I eat. Any 'diet' could help with that.

THE singular most important thing was that I made a decision.

I stood there, crying, looking in the mirror sideways on ... and then I kind of gave myself a big shake.

STOP CRYING.

And START getting on with it.

So I made the decision. And after that, it was so much easier than I'd been thinking that I don't know now quite what the fear was in admitting I felt uncomfortable, that I wasn't happy and that I wanted to lose weight.

You can make the decision - please DO make the decision, because after that it's so much easier.

And if you want my principles for weight loss, based on a Thai-inspired way of eating, and tons of support and friendship - and a great group to cheer you on and share recipes ...

Then do join the Thai Diet Revolution.

In May there's only FIVE places, so if you want one HERE's the info on how to join.

If you want to hear more what those already in the group have to say, click HERE.

I honestly feel I've changed my life so much, and in such a good way and I know now from what I've learned, that I won't be putting the weight back on again.

I just want to share it with everyone!

So, if you want to join now, then do! (HERE).

We're waiting to welcome you xx

Ps. It's ALL about you making that decision. You CAN lose the weight you want to. Whether you join my group/programme or another or do it alone - please DO!

You CAN more easily than you might think lose the weight, when you just DECIDE.



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Sometimes it's about saying 'no' to reach your goals

Some people are going to be reading my posts about Supreme Self Care and thinking ...

'Yeah ok for you, you don't have x y z you have to do',

'HOW does she find time?'

'Well, that's ok for you, you don't have kids to feed and get up for school'.

Well, no, I don't, no.

But I do know that I do have plenty of other responsibilities (as we all do) and I don't have unlimited time.

Or do I?

I believe in the concept of Einstein Time (read The Big Leap - a fave book that changed my life and concept of time).

And I really, really believe in the concept of CHOICE.

That means I prioritise my self care stuff, and my writing, and my doing ALL the things I really care about and am passionate about.

That means I also say NO a lot.

To fun things as well as the learning to say no to things you really don't want to do but (used to) feel obliged to.

It's easy to think that learning to be someone who can say 'no', means saying 'no' to things you don't want to do.

Ha! MUCH more it means saying 'no' to things you DO want to do.

I say no to TV.

I say no to parties.

I say no to meet ups with friends and family.

I say no to that book I want to read.

I say no to sleeping another half an hour.

To going to bed earlier and to getting up later.

Etc, etc, etc.

It means - when I SAY prioritise, I MEAN prioritise.

No, it's not easy.

I never said it was easy.  I said it was SUPREME self care to take the best care of me.

It means really thinking about what it takes to put you first - and not JUST your physical, emotional, spiritual .... also your CREATIVITY.

I believe we all NEED to be creative beings, whatever that looks like for you ... and for me, I need time and space to even work that out.

It means prioritising you and what you want to do ... and the results and goals you are going to achieve.



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SUPREME SELF CARE

I was talking with some friends the other night at my Tiniest Thai supperclub about how so many people just don't GET what real self care is all about.  

Think it's about lighting a candle and having a bath and talking about how 'spiritual' they are :)

Well, all those things are very NICE, sure, but they're not self care IN THEMSELVES.

I have only recently embarked on a non-negotiable regime of SUPREME self care - and it came about from understanding, really feeling and believing in a way I haven't before, that taking care of myself is what comes FIRST.

In every way.

Physically, emotionally, spiritually.

When I take care of myself FIRST then everything else flows.

SUPREME self care means - for me - STARTING with creating a commitment and a DISCIPLINE, if you like, that then becomes a habit.

And when things are habits they are EASY and natural; it's just what you do.

Everyone's commitments and priorities to themselves will be different but mine include:

DAILY journaling and movement/fitness - usually yoga, and choosing food I love and that's best for me.

A MONTHLY massage.

MONTHLY  house cleaner so my environment is as I like it and making space and time for me to do more of what I love and less of what I don't.

Every other month an appointment with my osteopath. 

Regular health appointments such as the dentist.

Regular manicures and pedicures whether at home or at the salon and regular hair appointments.

Choosing to drink water, (and good wine!), get the right amount of sleep for me.

Surrounding myself with people who bring me UP, who support and encourage and inspire me - and for whom I do the same.

DAILY time for reflection, meditation and this can be quiet at home or while out walking.

DAILY watch and / or read something inspiring. It doesn't have to be long - just a blog post by a fave blogger, a podcast, a feature in the newspaper, whatever it is.

It all creates a deep foundation of care from which to live, to create, to work, to play, to BE.

What does SUPREME self-care look like for YOU?



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CHOOSING my life ... 4 years on ...

“If you change nothing, nothing will change”

Tony Robbins


And that moment of realisation, that moment where you finally feel it and KNOW that it is YOUR decision to create your life and make it happen ...

It happened to me four years ago this month. 28th April.

I was in a very dark place, looking back, in a job I knew was terrible for me ... and harming me ... but it was really ME harming me allowing it to continue.

And I'd been letting life drift by really my whole life - choosing A over B, like a multiple choice life, NEVER and I mean NEVER really deciding what I wanted and what would make me happy and going after that.

It took until my 40's.

it doesn't matter how long it takes, it matters that one day you DO see, do feel, do know that it's ALL and ALWAYS down to you.

YES, there are pressures and challenges of life, but THE biggest step is deciding.

What I did that day, was finally say enough. I gave in my notice at the awful job - without a job to go to - and suddenly felt my long long long ago ebbed away ME power start returning.

Of COURSE I could find another job perfect for me and my career in three months (it took four weeks).

And this time I made sure it was right for me and also would allow me time, mental capacity ... to start writing, cooking more, launching my own things I'm passionate about, my own side passion projects.

It can be so easy not to even recognise that you're in a dark place and going through the motions, getting through each day, surviving basically.

I was someone who on paper looked like I had a good life - and I did ... but I was trapped and miserable and not growing, not CREATING.

You can always decide and choose.

(You don't have to give your notice in though) :)

But it is your one life and if you've been stuck for a while and this sounds like you ... maybe start thinking what YOU want.

For me ... I wanted not to be scared, ill, bullied, tired, weak.

I wanted to write and create (and be me and be strong).

It didn't LOOK big to anyone else!

To the outside it looked like I left one great job in a great industry and went to another. Oh and started a little blog about Thai cooking.

That little blog about Thai food made me alive again and got my creativity going again. That first day, on my first blog site, pressing 'publish' - no post is scarier than that one.

I was still living in a fear mode really, worrying what people would think or say, not having the incredible community and support I do now.

You CAN start creating your life at ANY time in your life.

The big thing, the only big thing ... is DECIDING.

And that 'little' project?

Could become your real BIG thing, your biggest thing.

What do YOU want to do, create ... be?



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