The Saboteur Within Your Appetite

The secret eating spell….

This is one of my client’s who didn’t make it into the book ‘The Saboteur Within’ but was a very interesting and brief  case study.

I was asked by a daughter if I could work with her mother to eat, the mother let’s call her Mary, had had an operation and although it was successful, Mary had lost her appetite and was becoming very weak and every one was concerned for her.

Mary was in a memorial hospice (cancer patient) and I agreed to do a small scale laughter workshop for the patients, knowing that Mary would be in attendance. When I saw her for the first time I thought “what a wonderful old lady” she was just lovely, the kind of person who captures the term grandma J

The challenge for me was how to engage Mary in a way that could encourage her to eat and to live, as the twinkle in her eye had gone out.

So, at the end of the workshop I was packing my things and about to leave, when it came to me, I told the group that I would come back and do another workshop in a months time as they had been such a good audience, then I invited all of them except for Mary, to join in with my Quiz!

The Quiz would be one small puzzle that I would require the answer to in a month, when I came back and then I left quickly, so as not to get caught up in the argument that was about to happen J

Mary’s daughter wasn’t happy Mary was annoyed in fact I think everyone was angry with me J

Anyway a month passed and I went back to the hospice and standing in the door way was a very stern looking Mary.

“Why didn’t you let me have a go at your quiz?” she barked

“What quiz?” I pretended not to remember

“You know what quiz! Anyway the answer is “8” it’s been going through my mind all month “8”, “8” so, there’s your answer” she snapped at me in a rather indignant manner.

Mary had regained her appetite during the last month and was eating well and I chuckled with her that “I was only teasing “

What was the quiz?

The quiz was simply “What is between 7 and 9?” now what was this going to do?

  • Engage Mary by discounting her from the quiz
  • Engage Mary’s family on a common purpose “hate me”
  • This new common purpose stops them pestering Mary to eat
  • Mary has fire in her belly and she needs to get her strength up to face me
  • Mary’s mind continues to process “8” or is “ate”
  • “ate” is the past tense of having eaten, which presupposes that one has
  • Mary was now eating naturally and food wasn’t the enemy, I was J

There are lots of examples like this one in my no1 international best selling book “The Saboteur Within” and I am available to talk on the subject of self-sabotage and all things unconscious, so contact me and let’s help you, your friends, your family and even your business to be free of self sabotage.


Self Sabotaging Your Health and Fitness

Are You Self Sabotaging Your Health and Fitness?

I’d like to tell you about a good friend of mine who runs a gym. He is always amazed at the clients who come in and sign-up for a three-year membership. Why? Because after three weeks about 75% of them stop coming altogether. And after about three months, he’s down to about 4% of those original members. He calls it “sleeping” money because he doesn’t have to do anything about it after the initial two- to three-week flurry is over except sleep and watch the money come in. You might be wondering about his moral obligations, but after thirty years in the health and fitness industry, he knows that no matter what he does; personal training, one to one, telephoning you to encourage you to come along, he’s tried them all! He knows the age old saying is true, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. So, here he is today having to accept money for a service that he knows he won’t be able to deliver because his new clients will sabotage themselves. “Every now and again someone just gets it! And they transform their life.” He says, “If I could bottle what they have, I could change the world!” Well reader, here is your bottle, drink deeply.

Just consider for a moment why in the world anyone would join a gym and immediately sign up for a three-year membership? It’s human nature, of course. We’re so excited about losing weight, about shaping up, about changing our lives, that if one year is good, then two years is better; and if two years is better, then three years is best! The only problem is; our motivation to change rarely lasts three weeks, let alone three years.

When’s the most popular time to sell a three-year gym membership? January, of course! After all, it’s the time for New Year’s resolutions, for doing what we know is best for our mind, body, and soul.

It’s also the time when our conscious mind is strongest. After all, we’re fresh from a solid week of holiday eating; we’re lazy from the winter weather, and soft from taking it too easy for too long. What’s more, we consciously know that if we don’t make some kind of healthy change in the beginning of the year, we’re likely not to make it anytime this year.

So, it’s off to the gym we go, fighting the first of the year crowds and burning our bodies sore until we drop from exhaustion back home on the couch. We can keep it up for another few days perhaps, burning a hole in our new tracksuits and wearing down our spiffy new training shoes and then… and then… reality hits.

     The Self Sabotage voice starts creeping into our heads again, telling us:


“This’ll never work!”

“You’re not cut out for this!”

“You don’t belong here!”

“You’re too old!”

“Let’s go back home and have some tea!”

“I’m too busy at work/with the kids”


You know that voice, don’t you? It’s the sound you’ve been hearing all your life. Often you want to change, to grow, to learn, to reach, and to stretch. And what happens? You get all excited about that new gym membership, that new class, that new boyfriend or girlfriend, that new job, and your conscious mind takes over, for a day or two at least.

Then the voice creeps in, sabotaging all your plans, making you feel weak, insecure, ineffective, and out of place. You fight it for as long as you can, struggling against your nature to succeed until, eventually, it wins out, as it always must – the little voice “wins” and that is that. No more gym, no more track suit, no more trainers. Until next January, that is; and the cycle starts all over again.

Self Sabotage is Driven by Your Emotions

Well, I’m here to tell you that that tiny little voice has a name: your unconscious mind (your very own Saboteur Within). And if that tiny little voice sounds anxious, envious, unhappy, or any other emotion, that’s because… it is your emotions!

Your unconscious wants your life to remain on whatever course you are currently travelling on, always travelling along the path of least resistance, believing that you are perfect just the way you are! So the more you try to change, the more opposition you will encounter. And you are up against your most powerful ally.

How has your Saboteur become so powerful? It’s because your unconscious mind is like a wall that’s been built up brick by brick, minute by minute, month by month, year after year – for decades. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 years old, your unconscious mind has spent the entire time crafting a careful universe where every hope, dream, desire, pain, anguish, and fear have laid the foundations of your beliefs and values. These “beliefs” and “values” then become the solid bricks with which your unconscious mind builds the very wall that you will one day find yourself trapped inside.

And the older you get, the higher the wall; and the harder it becomes to change… well… anything! However, cheer up! Please, remember that no matter how difficult it might seem to overcome your beliefs and values, you do rule over your universe and your unconscious is always ready to replace tough old bricks for flexible new ones.


Could you be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

If you are a care-giver, therapist, health professional or you work in an environment where there are a lot of negative emotions, you might not be surprised to learn that you could be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  or to put it another way Compassion Fatigue.

According to Susanne Babbel, Ph.D., MFT, “the helpers symptoms, frequently unnoticed, may range from psychological issues such as dissociation, anger, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nightmares, to feeling powerless. However, professionals may also experience physical symptoms such as nausea, headaches, general constriction, bodily temperature changes, dizziness, fainting spells, and impaired hearing. All important warning signals for the caregiver that need to be addressed or otherwise might lead to health issues or burnout.” Highlitghting that you do not need to be a soldier to suffer from (PTSD).

Authors and researchers Babette Rothschild hypothesizes that it is the unconscious empathy, the empathy outside awareness and control that might interfere with the well being of the caregiver. Maybe this can give us further insight into (PTSD). When they read the client examples put forward in The Saboteur Within, they will find even more evidence to support their claims.

The great Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, believed that thought and talk, although they have different roots, they converge when we are children and every aspect of our cultural development appears twice, first on a social level, between people (interpsychological), and then inside ones self (intrapsychological). In a nutshell what he means is, all the higher psychological functions originate as actual relations between human individuals. If Vygotsky is right, then is it any wonder that Compassion Fatigue happens outside of our conscious awareness?

The key to overcoming (PTSD) , therefore, would appear for you to transform the meaning of what you are doing on a day to day basis and remembering who you are at an identity level. It may sound simple but all to often when the unconscious mind gets involved with new learnings, it can become automated, so we would seek to re-engage you to you, yourself, your mind, body and spirit.

Are you a Carer or Health Facilitator? Here is the link to Psychology Today