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This is the transcript of Live the 8Wise™ Way Podcast.

Episode Thirty-One:

Ending the Year the Wise Way

Hello everybody. Welcome to the Live The 8WiseTM Way podcast with me, Kim Rutherford, Psychotherapist, author and creator of the 8WiseTM methodology for better mental health and wellbeing. How are you doing? How have you been surviving these last few weeks? For those of you who celebrated Christmas or the festive period, have you had fun? Did you get through it? Are you now at that stage where we’re at the end of the year and you’re doing some self-reflection, thinking about what your 2022 has been about and how you might be planning things for 2023? I know I am.

The strange thing is for me, this is the first year where I’m looking at it slightly differently. Every single year before this year I’ve always been focused on let’s just get to the end of the year, let’s get to the end of the year because I’m excited to start the New Year, and I’m usually excited to start the New Year because I never really got the chance to achieve what I’d wanted to achieve in that year. So I go “yep, draw a line under it, move forward, forget it happened, start the next one”. But actually, for the very first time probably in my history that I can ever remember, this is the first year where I’m actually stopping and going “okay 2022, what did you do, what did you achieve, are you happy with that?” And then I start thinking about “okay 2023, what am I excited about?”

So I thought I wanted to share some of that with you, especially for those of you who might have been a little bit like me in the past, a bit obsessed with New Year resolutions, I was obsessed with them. I would tell myself every single year, especially in December, I’d be like “you can do what you want in December, eat what you want, be lazy, do whatever you want to do because January 1st, you are going to become this miracle human being that is going to change absolutely everything in her life, and she is going to become everything she ever wanted to be on January 1st”. That’s the kind of BS I’d been telling myself for at least probably 35 to 40 years. That’s who I was, a complete plonker, and if you don’t know what plonker means, it’s a UK slang term for being a bit of an idiot, a bit dumb. I was a bit dumb and I was a bit dumb about myself so ultimately I thought “I’m going to take the time this time round, have a think about it really. What am I happy about achieving in 2022?” And I didn’t know where to start.

Do you ever get those moments when you think the world is trying to tell you something. Well, I woke up this morning, go “yeah, I’m going to do this big podcast, it’s going to be all about resolution, it’s going to be all about that stuff. And then I woke up and I turned on LinkedIn and a friend of mine had sent me a message on LinkedIn and said you’ve got to check out this post. And this post was from this absolutely amazing guy called Daniel and Daniel was sharing his story about how he had lost all his weight through bariatric surgery and how that had changed his life. I was like, brilliant, you don’t see that many people talking on mainstream platforms such as LinkedIn about bariatric surgery. And the reason we don’t see that that much is because so many people were quite judgmental about it. There is this concept that, for some reason, a lot of people think that bariatric surgery is the same as plastic surgery and that you are cheating your way to a smaller body. BS by the way. That’s a lot of BS. Trust me when I say, when you have surgery, it is hard. It is. I wish I’d known how hard it was before I’d done it because the reality of it is, just eating less and moving more, eating less calories and moving more, is actually the easiest thing in the world in comparison, but what that other process didn’t do is deal with the fact that I was obese and had psychological issues that were leading to my obesity.

Looking at Daniel’s post this morning made me realize there’s so many people out there as well that are living their life, they’re making their choices, they’re making healthy choices for themselves yet being judged. Being judged by people who’ve got no idea what it’s like to walk in the shoes of someone living in a larger body. No idea what it’s like to live with the mindset of obesity. No idea, yet still believe they have the right to judge everybody. It made me think “oh, okay, maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s time to put myself out there, talk about my story and tell the world what’s been going on with me”. And I do talk about it. I run a Facebook with over 2000 people in it who have all gone through surgery, they know my story, they know it to death. I’ve talked about it on here. It’s not a surprise. Then I realized maybe that’s what I should be reflecting on, because the biggest change in my life came from making a decision that normally I would never have made because the whole world would’ve judged me for it. And I made it. I put two fingers up to the world and said “no, I’ve got to do this for me. I’ve got to do the right thing for me” and for the very first time I feel really proud of myself at the end of a year. It’s not because I’ve lost six stone and nearly a hundred pound in weight, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I’ve lost that. That’s a brilliant thing, I’m really happy just because I can move more, my body can achieve more, I can do the things I could never do, what we call the non-scale victories, just because I’m in a smaller body now but it’s brought me so much more. Then after I checked that LinkedIn post out of this guy called Daniel, who’s fantastic, a friend of mine.

I didn’t tell a lot of people about my surgery and the certain friendship groups I didn’t tell just because it’s personal, isn’t it? It’s personal and I didn’t share it with the world because I didn’t know how I was going to cope with it. So I kind of told a very few people and just kept my close inner circle in on the loop and obviously the people in my bariatric group and then this friend messaged me this morning. She goes “oh, I’ve just seen a random post about you with regards to your 12-month surgery and just want to say congratulations”. I mean, she’s absolutely gorgeous, she was lovely and I’m very grateful for the message that she sent me. That’s when I realized, okay, the worlds trying to tell me something. I was kind of like, I’m living publicly with something, yet I’m hiding something as well. Why is that? What is that? and I realized it was because I’ve still got that fear of people judging me. I’ve still got that fear of those bullies, those people thinking that I’m cheating or those people just finding a way to make me feel crap about myself. And I thought, right, how am I going to end my 2022 and how am I going to make a difference and not get into the same habits of 2023?

This is what I decided to do. As of 2023 I am not making any New Year resolution ever again… da da da. And the reason for that is because I’ve already got myself into this lovely way of living now whereas if I’ve got a challenge in life, if I want to achieve something, I set my goals. I set my short-term goal, I set a set my midterm goal, I set my long-term goal. I don’t need to make a New Year resolution because I already live my life through that process because that process works for me. That’s how I Live the 8WiseTM Way. I go, right, okay, what do I want to achieve for myself in my life in the next three months, what do I want to do in the next six months, what do I want to do in the next 12 months and that’s different to a New Year resolution because a New Year resolution is something you set at the beginning of the year and then beat yourself up at the end of the year because you never achieved it. Whereas I don’t look at life like that anymore. I look at it as, okay, I have complete control, I’m going to set something in place for myself that I’m going to achieve in 12 weeks. I’m going to keep my motivation levels focused. I’m going to keep the inspiration focused and I’m going to do something that’s really good for me and my life and my mental health and my wellbeing, and I do it that way now and in 12 weeks’ time, I’m either going to achieve it or I don’t. If I don’t achieve it, I don’t look at it as a failure anymore. I look at my life as, okay, so why didn’t I achieve it, was this a realistic goal in the first place, has life thrown me some curve balls that just meant that what I thought was realistic is no longer realistic and can I adapt it? Can I change it or do I need to change the goalposts a bit, putting me in control and creating a more flexible model for me moving my life forward.

So, it got me thinking about that, but what this last 12 months really got me thinking about is when I had my surgery. Before I had my surgery, the reason I had my surgery is because I was miserable. And I was miserable because I was living in a larger body. I was technically morbidly obese, my BMI was so bad the doctor would frown every time I walked into the hospital with a cold. I was being shamed on a daily basis, I was being judged on a daily basis, I was being bullied on a daily basis. Sometimes people who love you are the people who say the worst things to you, or they don’t say anything at all. They just give you the look or the little sly comment and that they don’t want to say publicly or out loud, or it’s the passive aggressiveness of everything, or they do the fake platitude stuff, which is even worse. And I was in this head space of I loathed myself. I really did. I had the world telling me that I was going to die because Covid only really attacked people are obese. What a message to send to people. What a message to send out to the world of this awful, awful situation that we’re in is bad enough as it is. We’re seeing people left, right, and centre die or be really, really sick and then on top of that, we say but if you are overweight, you are going to die first, and then other people jump on board going “and you deserve it because you’re overweight”. What a horrible way society is towards people all the time. And sometimes when it’s at its worst is we’re in our worst state. I mean, when we first went into Covid, I was excited to see how our communities would pull together, and I was absolutely disgusted and shocked at how many communities didn’t, or how many people within communities didn’t. I’m very grateful that some did though.

So, when I realized that I was struggling with my food and I didn’t want to die, I was like “oh my God, I’m going to die because Covid is going to get me”, I never left the house and talk about somebody with agoraphobia, and I had agoraphobia seven years earlier than that, so to tell someone that you’re going to die because of your body size doesn’t really help, someone with agoraphobia kind of forced me to stay in a little bit more, which then really affected my mental health and wellbeing. And guess what? My coping mechanism was food because that’s all I had. So suddenly I start to go “okay, I’ve got real high dependency on food. The more stressed I am, I’m eating more and more and more. I can’t get food out of my head. I cannot get food out of my head, even when I don’t want it, I’m having it. Maybe there’s an issue here”. So I started to do some self-reflection and started to identify that I had all the characteristics of binge eating disorder and a disordered eating process and food addiction. And I’m like, okay, this explains an awful lot. And then when I started to do, what I would call, a timeline, I started to realize that my history had been telling me for a very long time that my coping mechanism for all my issues in life had always been food. And from that, I’d actually developed disordered eating, binge eating being one of the biggest eating disorders on the planet and one that we don’t talk about when we talk about eating disorders. We always jump to anorexia and bulimia, and we don’t really pay much attention to the people who are binge eating. In fact, as I said, I’ve got over 2000 people in my Facebook group, and we talk about this an awful lot and so many people went to their own doctor and said to their doctor “I think I need help, I think I’ve got binge eating disorder”, which is basically eating, eating, eating, eating and then you don’t purge whereas with bulimia you would purge. The doctors are turning around and saying “well, we can’t help you until you start purging”. It’s a different disorder, yet people were being told basically, you are not good enough in the eating disorder category until you start doing what this eating disorder does as well. Imagine telling that to someone who is absolutely desperate for help, desperate for support, desperate to make the changes that they know they need to make for their own mental health and their physical health. And I was in a similar head space to that.

Now, obviously I do the job I do so I go, okay, there’s something not quite right in my mind at the moment, who do I go and speak to? I found a therapist. Lovely, lovely therapist. We talked about compassion therapy and looking at myself differently and all those things, which was brilliant. But what I suddenly realized is I’ve got dysfunctional coping mechanisms in regard to stress. I need to handle that. Those dysfunctional coping mechanisms have now led to binge eating and an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food that is actually now causing me mental health issues and physical health issues. Now I need to deal with that. What that is also doing is now triggering my health anxieties. Now, on top of everything, every single day I have a palpitation I think I’m going to die. And it keeps me in this head space of health anxiety, and Covid on top of that’s making me worse so then I had to deal with that.

Then we had this situation where I’ve got Covid, I’m too scared to leave the house, and I’m worried that my agoraphobia’s coming back in. So I had to deal with that. And suddenly you go, I’ve got to deal with all of these things all at once and my priority for me at the time was, I just want to lose the weight. And with so many psychological issues all at once, so many triggers all happening at once, losing the weight just wasn’t possible. It just wasn’t possible. And so I had to make the decision, how do I go from juggling all of these balls, these thought balls at once, how do I remove some of them to give my head space or my head the space and freedom to actually do some of the other work I need to do to actually resolve these issues? And after talking to somebody about bariatric surgery, that was my decision.

I had my bariatric surgery at the end of 2021, in the November of 2021. So last Christmas was an interesting time for me because it was the very first Christmas in my entire life where I didn’t binge and I didn’t gorge and I didn’t use it as an excuse to eat and eat and eat and drink and drink and drink to fill up the void that was being caused by this stress and all of this other stuff that was going on in my life at that time of year and it was liberating. I’ve got to say, the first six weeks after my surgery was the most liberating time in my life because, for anybody out there listening to this who you know, you might be in a larger body, you might not be, you might be classified as obese, you might not be, but if you’re not happy with where you are in your size, it dominates. It absolutely dominates everything you think, everything you say, everything you wear, everywhere you go, the people you talk to, it dominates absolutely everything, every single part of your life, every single part of your mind. And to be in that position where you can go, wow I don’t have to think about it anymore, yeah, I can’t eat as much, but crikey this feels good. This feels good to be in a position where I don’t have to think about it anymore. And so, when I went into 2022 for the very first time in my whole life, and I can honestly say that for the very first time in my whole life, I went into 2022 feeling optimistic, feeling full of hope, feeling that 2022 was going to be the year that everything changed for me.

Now, when you look at the 8WiseTM model, I always talk about the first level is the foundation level, emotional wellness and physical wellness. And if you think about where I was at nearly 10 stone overweight, I could barely walk, I was out of breath all the time, I was just miserable. Miserable on every single level, physically and mentally really, really miserable and I would put the biggest smile on my face and I’d walk into a room full of confidence whenever I had to but it was the biggest mask you can ever imagine. On the inside, I was truly, truly dying. I really, really was. And 2022 changed. That started to change that for me because, what then happened is, I started to achieve some of those goals. So, the low self-esteem that I had experienced in the previous years was suddenly going away. I was achieving things. I was reducing my weight so a lot of the headspace was becoming free, and it was that headspace that then enabled me to go and work with different people to deal with my binge eating, to deal with my food addiction, to deal with other things. It helped me to start up my Weight-Wise Warriors support group so I could help other people who were going through bariatrics. It made me focus and research and understand more about obesity and more about that kind of stuff so I can support more people. And that’s what I do. I do support an awful lot of people within this category in order to not just lose the weight, because that’s just one small part of it to be perfectly honest.

I had a support group last night and we were talking about it and we get so fixated on that number on the scale. and really life isn’t about the number on the scale. We want to change something in our lives. It’s because we want our quality of life to improve. So that’s what, for me, I ended up really realizing is that the first half of last year was really focusing on my physical wellness and my emotional wellness and getting that to that stage whereas I was losing the weight and my body was able to move more. I was physically becoming more and more healthy. I was able to do more things. I joined the gym, I do yoga, I do all of these things now. I go for walks, I go for hikes. I hiked a mountain. It was the most brilliant moment in my life, and I did all of these things because finally I was able to do all of these things, and that brings a different set of emotions, emotions I’d never felt. Shame was suddenly gone. Guilt was suddenly gone. It was not gone entirely, but certainly not the dominant emotions and thinking processes anymore. My self-doubt started to diminish. My self-esteem was growing. My negative thinking patterns were getting lower and lower and lower. So, my emotional wellness, my physical wellness started to improve dramatically simply by having the surgery and that’s it.

In life, we’ve got to find the things that make us feel physically and emotionally better. You might not all be thinking “I need to lose weight, I need to get healthy” or any of those things but whatever it is you are doing in your life that you’re thinking, actually, I could probably just tweak this or make a few changes here, you’ve got to make sure that at their core, they’re going to make you feel mentally healthier and physically healthier, because that’s going to trigger you for all the other areas of your life.

As soon as I started to lose all of my weight, I started to feel better about myself but there was a reality to this. There’s a dark side to doing this. If you are somebody who overeats, if you’re a binge eater, if you’ve got disordered eating, there’s a reason for that. There’s a why, there’s a why behind it and I don’t know what your why is, but one of the most common whys is that we are eating our pain away, filling the void of food. And that could be caused by lots of different things, whatever causes the pain in the first place. For many of us, we don’t specifically know. We think we know, but we don’t necessarily know and it’s the same with any dysfunctional behaviour that we have in life.

I know we’ve talked about dysfunctional behaviours on here before, but it’s like with a lot of dysfunctional behaviours in our lives, we have them. To cope with something, to cover up something, to protect us from something, whether that be drink, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, food, working too many hours. All of these different things that we can have in our lives that actually we think help us, but in the long term don’t. They’re just dysfunctional behaviours, dysfunctional coping mechanisms, and so we’ve got make sure that when we’re making those changes, they’re going to help us mentally. They’re going to help us physically. This is covered in the next piece of work and the next piece of work is the internal dimension with 8WiseTM.

So, for me, as soon as I stopped being able to eat my pain away, woah did it come up and hit me or kick me up the ass! To be honest, that’s what it did. It really did kick me up the ass. It punched me in the face, because then what happens is, you really realize what you’ve been suppressing for so long and I went through that phase and it’s quite a challenging phase to go through for anybody really to suddenly realize, okay, this is the pain I’ve been covering up, this is where this pain comes from, but if I ignore the pain it doesn’t go away. I need to allow myself to see it, to feel it, to understand it, to process it, to let it go. So, I had to go through that but by going through that, I started to release all of that tension that I’d been holding onto inside my body for such a long time. And with that, by releasing that, I also released the need in the same way to do the eating the way that I was eating. So, the binge eating and the very specific addiction to food. And when I say addiction to food, I really do mean that my day was planned around food. it. It really was planned around food. I woke up and it’s about food. When’s the next meal? What am I going to have? What can I have as a snack? December was the best month of my life every year because I justified myself as of 1st of December, I’m in festive season, I’m trying every festive food. I’m doing it every single day, and I’m dragging everybody down with me. That’s how I lived my life.

So, to go through that phase and to suddenly release this need for all of that, I was then able to go okay, was able to get to know myself again, and really get to understand who I am without this food, without these coping mechanisms and that really helped with my spiritual wellness. I started to understand a new set of values. I started to identify myself and understand myself on a slightly different level. Started to look around myself and go, well actually, if this is what’s really important to me in my life, how am I manifesting that into my life? And one of the things that I realized is that being judged is huge, but observing and watching other people be judged really bothers me, really, really triggers me badly. And that’s one of the biggest reasons as to why I set up the support group because I just felt that there’s this wonderful group of people in our society who have been struggling most of their lives because they’re in a larger body, because they’ve been classified as obese, because they’ve been bullied because of all of these things and they’re making all of these changes and they’re not getting that much support. So, I want to help those people.

For me, one of my core values was not liking people to be judged. I wanted to create a safe space for people to come, to go through their journey in a safe space where they could talk, they could get support, they could get help, and I’m so grateful for the people that joined that group. I’m so grateful for the people who’ve become part of my Weight-Wise Warrior group because they’ve helped me become part of a community and feel like I belong to something for the very first time in my life as well so it’s been really important. That’s helped me with my spiritual wellness.

To do all of that though, I really had to push out of my comfort zone. I had to do things I wouldn’t have really normally done. I don’t really like social media, but I’ve had to put myself out there, and by putting myself out there I’ve gained confidence. I really have gained confidence. I would never have done a podcast. I would never have sat here chatting to you now about my stories and about my life or talking about things. I was quite happy to hide behind my books. I was quite happy to hide behind the 8WiseTM brand, the 8WiseTM logo, the 8WiseTM model. That’s why I created them in the first place, so I could hide behind them. But now I stand there next to them proudly showing how this model can help people change their lives. I’m now not just the name on the book, but the face of the book as well, and that would never have happened if I hadn’t focused on my intellectual wellness and started to look at, okay, who am I? What stimulates me? How can I put that out in the world, and how can I live my life by that? How can I manifest my life based on this internal world, this internal dimension that I’ve got.

So as soon as I was able to do that, then that was it. I started looking at my life from an external perspective. That external dimension going, okay, this is the new me as such, this is the most honest, open, raw me that has ever existed. How on earth do I navigate this new world now as this person, and the way that I had to do that is look at my environment. I had to start looking at where am I spending my time. Am I spending my time with the right people? All of these things, how do I make my home a safe space for me so I know what my trigger points are? How do I make my home a safe space for me. And that’s what I’ve had to do, I’ve had to decorate, I’ve had to create safe spaces. I’ve had to remove certain things from the house and only have certain things in. I’ve had to make sure that I go and spend so many days in my office a week. Even if I’m working online via Zoom with my clients, I’ll go into the office so it changes my environment. I spend more time socially with my friends, I’d go to places, I’d do things more than I ever did before, and I certainly realized who my friends were. That’s a strange one. And that’s not because when you go through something you need support there because, bear in mind I didn’t tell a lot of people, but I think that was when I realized why don’t I tell these people? Why am I not wanting to tell all these people? And it made me realize that there were some people in my life that I just didn’t feel that connection with. and so, there’s some of those relationships I’ve had to work through. I’ve had to deal with those. Some I’ve built better relationships with. Some I’ve let go and some have just accepted that’s where they are and that’s okay.

What I did develop is an amazing, amazing set of people, an amazing group of friends who I call my second family. They’re fantastic. I love them all dearly, and we do amazing things together. We do a pub quiz every week which is brilliant, exciting. We do pub lunches together. We just do all of these things where we’re just together and we have fun and we have laughter, and it’s just joyous. And I’m very grateful for those people in my life and I think some of them are listening, you know who you are. You’re well thought of. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want it to go to your heads.

But I had to do that process, so I had to focus on my environmental wellness, I had to focus on my physical wellness. I had to focus on my social wellness. I had to do all of these things. But by doing that, it changed my life from that lifestyle perspective as well. Suddenly my business changed because now I’m in this position where, okay, I’ve got this experience and I’ve got this skillset and I can help all of these different people. So now I’ve got this Weight-Wise element to my business where I’m supporting people going through the bariatric process and I support them through one-to-ones, I do training, we have the support group, but it also opened me up to some amazing new people. There’s a lot of people in the world that because they’ve experienced something, they think that’s enough for them to go and help others and I’m sure they offer awful great things, and obviously I can’t say too much because I only work in the arenas that I’ve had experience in because that’s who I am, but for me also, I feel like you need to have both. I want to understand it from my personal perspective, but I also want to understand it from the classic perspective, the theoretical, the academic perspective, which is why I always go out and do the courses to back up everything that I know on a personal level so that I can genuinely try and help people from a fuller perspective.

I did some work with some amazing people, Lisa Smith, Nutritionist, Bernie Wright is an eating disorder specialist and also focuses on neurodiversity. Fantastic people like that where I learned so much so that I am able to then make sure that I’m supporting people as much as I can in the right way. So it opened up these areas of my business, but also made me a lot more confident in my other elements of my business. I became a public speaker, fancy that, this short, dumpy fat girl who is always petrified of leaving the house because people might laugh at her, joke at her, now puts on a suit and stands on a stage and has a chat with people about all of these different ways that they can look after their mental health and wellbeing in life. As you can see, I started a podcast. I started putting myself out there and moving forward, this is what I am going to be doing because I want to keep challenging myself. The great thing about the podcast, I can hide behind something, and I can just be heard, whereas moving forward, I’m also moving the podcast onto YouTube so you can watch me as well as listen to me because that’s the next thing I need to face. I need to face that next thing of actually putting myself out there, put my face out there in multiple ways.

All of these things have really started to impact my wellness wheel, my 8WiseTM wellness wheel, my 8WiseTM spectrum. It’s made me understand myself so much better, but what it made me realize is that this past 12 months have been probably the best 12 months of my life. Yes, I’ve lost the weight and I can’t be any happier that I’ve lost nearly a hundred pounds in weight, that’s brilliant but it is just a number on a scale. It really, really is. I’m fitter and I’m healthier so by being fitter and healthier in general, my health anxiety is pretty much gone. I don’t really experience it in the way that I did when I was overweight, and I’m probably more grateful for that than anything else whatsoever because that was a horrible space to live in, anybody who lives with anxiety knows and health anxiety is petrifying because the truth about health anxiety is we generally don’t know what’s going on in our bodies, and most of the time we don’t find out until something’s bad. It’s a really unpleasant head space to be in. So I’m really grateful that by going through bariatric surgery, by going through this process, my health anxiety has gone. My binge eating is under control. Do I have these moments every now and then? Absolutely. Has December brought me some moments where I’ve gone, oh God, I just want to sit and do that, and eat that? Absolutely. But it’s not every moment of every day, which is where it used to be. It’s been a couple of times. Do I still eat what I want to eat? Abso-Bloody-lutely, absolutely because I love my food. I do. I love food. I think chefs are brilliant. I think anybody who can do something and make you feel great on so many levels just through food, I think it’s phenomenal. But I realize now that I can enjoy it without having to have literally the bucket loads that I was having before and I respect my body and understand my body now to know what works for me and know what doesn’t.

My life has changed an awful lot. So the binge eating disorder is under control, the food addiction element is under control as much as any addiction can be. I’m happier, definitely healthier. I am more outgoing. My confidence levels are higher. All in all, I’m all right with who I am. That’s it. And that’s the big thing I realize about New Year resolutions. Most of the time when we do a New Year resolution, we tell ourselves “I want to change who I am” and this is what I want to say to you, and it’s the number one message if we’re talking about ending the year the 8WiseTM way, and this case, the 8WiseTM way, you are good enough exactly who you are. You do not need to change who you are. You are fantastic. You are fabulous. You are not perfect, and that’s okay. You are going to get things wrong, and that’s okay. You’re not always going to be happy and that’s okay. And sometimes we go with these New Year resolutions and go, “well, I’m not happy with who I am. I want to become better”. You don’t need to become better, what you need to be doing is, if there are behaviours that you are demonstrating that you are acting out with that make you unhappy, then look to change those behaviours. If there are thoughts that you have in your mind about yourself that make you unhappy, then change those thoughts. But that’s all you need to focus on. You don’t need to change everything about you. Losing loads of weight will not make you a different person. It makes you become who you really are, it just takes off the masks. Becoming who you truly want to be is really just small tweaks. Freeing yourself up from the stuff that’s holding you back, freeing yourself up from the blockers that are stopping you from being who you really are, your most truest, authentic self, warts and all, issues and all, and all problems and all. Imperfection at its best.

So, if you are sat there thinking 2022 has been a crap year, I’m not a good person. I need to be a better person, I need to change, I need to be more, you don’t need to change who you are. You just need to tweak some of the behaviours that aren’t benefiting you or helping you get to where you want to be and you need to tweak some of those thought processes as well. If you can tweak those two things, you can still remain your fabulous, wonderful, authentic, amazing self, you are just behaving and thinking in a way that allows you to see it as well. And that is what I would say, if you’re a New Year resolution person, forget about the New Year resolutions. Make some tangible tweaks to your behaviours that aren’t making you happy, to your thoughts that aren’t making you happy, and then you go in thinking and behaving differently in 2023 and that’s how you achieve those short-term, those mid-term and those long-term goals that improve the quality of your life. And that is how we Live the 8WiseTM Way.

That’s what I would recommend you do at this end of 2022 instead of just thinking, right, I’m going to be doing this, that, and the other in 2023. Don’t jump forward. Stop. Breathe. Reflect on everything that has been achieved in 2022, who you have been, the amazing times you’ve had. The moments of fun, the moments of joy, the people that you’ve had in your life. Be grateful for them. 2023 is going to be whatever it is going to be. It is going to throw things at you from every angle. It doesn’t have to be good to you, it doesn’t have to be kind to you, and I promise you it won’t be because that’s life. We are just responding to it. But if you focus on tweaking your behaviours, focus on tweaking your thoughts, that helps you to develop the mindset that makes you happy with who you are. And when you’re happy with who you are and you have faith in the way that you handle things and you have faith in the way that you manage things, it doesn’t matter what life throws at you because you know that you can cope, you know you can manage it, you know you can control it, you know that your responses are going to help you survive it.

So I do wish every single one of you a very, very, very happy New Year, and I do wish that 2023 brings you everything that you dream of, but I know that you can have that because I know that if you make those tweaks to your behaviours and your thoughts, you can achieve everything anyway because the only tool and the only answer to everything you’ve ever needed in your life is inside of you, and that’s what I learned with every layer of fat that I lost. I realized that the only answer I ever needed was me. I realized the only friend I truly needed was me. The only caregiver I needed in my life was me. The only person I needed to help save me was me and that’s who I take into 2023. I just take in me. She’s not perfect. She’s not great at everything. She gets a lot wrong. She’s not the most beautiful girl in the world. She’s not the smartest girl in the world. She’s none of the perfections of anything, but she’s pretty all right and so are you.

So, take this moment to reflect. Take this moment to focus on gratitude for what 2022 brought you because this is your life journey, and 2022 has played a big part of it. Reflect, look at yourself. Make some decisions about if there are changes or things you’d like to achieve in 2023, and put short-term, mid-term, long-term goals in place for making the tweaks that are needed to allow you to continue to be your fabulous self, but maybe with some different behaviours and different thoughts that allow you to feel it and see it for yourself.

Thank you very much for joining me in my very first year of the Live the 8WiseTM Way podcast. For those of you who’ve been here from day one, thank you so much for your support. Thank you for getting in touch. Thank you for following me. To anybody who has bought my book 8WiseTM Ways to a Healthier, Happier Mind, or The 12 Week Journal, or the 12 Month Planner, or the pocket-book, thank you so much, and I really hope that you are enjoying Living the 8WiseTM Way for better mental health and wellbeing. If this is your very first episode, what an episode to come in on, but I do recommend you go back to episode one and start listening from the beginning, and it’ll make a lot more sense that way I promise you that.

So, thank you so much for everybody who’s joined me in 2022, and I hope you’ll continue to join me in 2023. We are going to be starting 2023 talking all about coping mechanisms and how you can develop better coping mechanisms for the stress and the issues that you will probably face in life. I’ve got some amazing guests coming from for all throughout 2023, helping you to develop new tools and new techniques. So please join us and listen in for that. It’ll be great if you do the usual stuff, the comments, the likes, the support that way, share everything, subscribe so you don’t miss out on anything. I always say, obviously, I created 8WiseTM to help as many people as I possibly can, and the only way to help people is if they know it exists or we exist. So please feel free to comment, like, share and subscribe. Let’s get the message out there to as many people as we possibly can. I hope in 2023 you will reach out. It’ll be great to see you join me on some of my webinars, on some of my training courses, that would be awesome as well. Obviously if you want to come and work on the one-to-one, then get in touch and if we can make it happen, we will make it happen.

So that’s it, me signing off for 2022. This was Live the 8WiseTM Way, the podcast, the 2022 version, and I look forward to seeing you in 2023 when we have more coming your way. Until then, take care of yourselves and I wish you a very, very happy New Year. Bye for now.

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