“It’s not your fault”: for the successful woman in control of everything – except her weight.

Contact Dr. Rebecca Stafford (that’s me) for Premium Health Psychology Coaching if:

  • you are apple-shaped rather than pear-shaped, i.e. your weight is primarily around your middle
  • you have lost weight only to regain it
  • because of your weight, you fear others judge you as incompetent and lacking in willpower
  • others don’t understand how hard this is for you
  • you want to work with someone who does understand your struggles
  • you fear your weight is a barrier to attracting your life partner OR a reason your partner may leave you
  • you feel shame and frustration around your unwanted weight
  • your weight affects your confidence
  • you avoid certain activities & social situations due to your weight
  • you sometimes feel ‘out of control’ around food
  • you have a love/hate relationship with food
  • you ‘comfort eat’ & feel guilty afterwards (read my short article on the ‘Top psychology strategy for busting emotional eating‘ if you haven’t already)
  • you swear to eat more healthily tomorrow – but tomorrow never comes
  • you feel you have tried everything
  • you feel you can’t control your weight – it controls you


“I’ve lost 20 kgs by exercising more and eating better. It really helps remembering what Rebecca says about weight-loss: that it’s not the most important thing in life.. yes I will get skinnier but does that mean that it would make me happier? No, it will make me healthier and fitter, which will make things easier physically, but weight-loss is not the main thing that would make me happier – if that makes sense. It also helps remembering that weight-loss is more bearable if you are happier, love yourself and remember your self worth”


“Within a few minutes of talking with Rebecca, my puzzling, frustrating behaviors made much more sense to me.  She provided me with enlightening information as well as with the tools to apply the information to my life, and with her help I’ve made some great changes.

One of which I know many people struggle with… exercising.  This had been a struggle of mine for years, but within a month of working with Rebecca I now exercise one hour a day, at least five days a week.. and I absolutely love it. This has impacted the quality of my life in ways I can’t put into words. I’ve also become more efficient overall – in time management and work productivity.

But what I believe made all my progress possible is Rebecca’s kind, humane, empathetic approach. She taught me the importance of self-compassion and celebrating my own successes, no matter how small they might seem – and it’s this new learned attitude that has paved an expedited path for growth.

And Rebecca did this all while making the process of learning enjoyable, personalized, and funny”.


Marcia is my love-is-thicker-than-genes niece.

And I sent Sabrina to the gym five days a week by accident.

My key aim was to give Sabrina a 40 minute crash course in rapidly making and breaking habits (21 day myth – grrrrrrrr!!!!) However, to illustrate how to customize the broad psychology strategies of rapid habit modification to any habit, I did ask for a specific habit she’d like to modify.

Sabrina said she wanted to get fit. So we narrowed ‘getting fit’ down to a more specific ‘going to the gym’ habit – and the rest was gymnasium history.



What does Health Psych Coaching with me involve?

I will work with you if:

  • you are highly motivated to control your weight. Ideally you will be at 9 out of a maximum of 10 for motivation. I will work with people who are at a 7 or 8 to strengthen their motivation, but I won’t work with people who’s motivation levels are under 7. My services are expensive, and while I can provide you with the tools for weight control, I can’t make you use them. There are ‘reasons’, or barriers, why you currently struggle with weight control. If your motivation is under 7, I totally understand you are motivated, but you are unlikely to be motivated enough to overcome these barriers.These barriers will make it harder for you to accept and apply the psychology tools I offer. Totally ‘doable’, but harder. Consequently its unethical of me to accept your money until you are highly motivated.
  • you recognize there are no silver bullets. You recognize that the slower you lose the weight, the more likely it is to stay off. You understand that lots of weight quickly lost can trigger a ‘famine’ situation – where your body becomes superb at holding onto energy stores in the form of fat – and the lost weight is often regained, plus interest, when the unnatural diet restrictions stop. But you can relax – we will substitute other, healthier (but still fun and delicious!) immediate gratifications and rewards along the way to make your journey much easier.
  • you are open to the idea that stress is involved in your weight control challenges – and be willing to play with novel techniques for reducing your stress. Briefly, chronic stress can lower your metabolism – promoting calorie and fat conservation and, insult to injury, trigger emotional eating.Fortunately, there are simple and effective – if little known – techniques for relieving existing stress and – most importantly – reducing stress at source.
  • you are open to the idea that achieving your ideal weight will not ‘fix’ you. You will be slim, but wherever you go, whatever you weigh, there you are. You don’t need fixing. The only thing wrong with you is you think something’s wrong with you. The thing is, being open to the idea that you are absolutely fine just as you are – whatever you weigh – makes weight control easy. I get it, it’s a paradox. Just as well our minds love a good juicy paradox. I don’t need you to ‘believe’ this concept at this point, just begin with imagining being open to the idea that you are fine just as you are. What would that be like?
  • you are open to the idea of weight control being easy.  In no way do I mean to minimize your painful struggle and, again, I don’t need you to believe this right now. I’d just like you to think about the mere possibility that weight control is surprisingly easy. As an example, I’d like you think of a thing you thought was going to be really hard to do – and you were surprised how easy it was? Well, its exactly like that.

What does Health Psych Coaching with me involve?

I provide unconditional therapeutic support – I understand how motivated you are and how hard you try.

We explore:

  • the role of stress in unwanted weight (briefly: it both lowers the metabolism and triggers emotional eating)
  • the little-known type of stress that is common to unwanted weight
  • how to reduce existing fat-depositing stress, as well as – importantly – how to reduce this type of stress at source
  • how willpower, or self-control, is overrated. While there are some psychology strategies for boosting willpower – relying on fallible, energy-sapping willpower is largely a waste of time
  • easy psychology strategies for beating emotional – or stress – eating
  • the fastest way to ‘get back on the wagon’ after a lapse in healthy eating
  • the role of genetics in unwanted weight
  • habits – getting a healthier lifestyle the easy way. Good habits make weight control easy. I will show you how to apply powerful, personalized, motivation to rapidly break less-healthy habits and create healthy ones, in well under the mythical 21 days.

While I don’t focus much on the food aspect – you know what’s healthy and not so healthy – there are some simple dietary changes that have demonstrated effectiveness in boosting health and weight-control.

Why work with me? 

  • I have a Ph.D. in Health Psychology (the study of the interaction between emotional and physical health) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • I spent the last 12 years studying and practicing psychology – all so you didn’t have to. You’re welcome.
  • Over the years I have supported many people – both in a voluntary and professional capacity – reduce their stress and boost their emotional and physical health. It’s my jam.
  • I know what it’s like. I am acquainted with anxiety and depression, and also narrowly dodged an eating disorder as a teenager. I continue to use the the psychology strategies I teach others to maintain my own health –  and to manage my sometimes excessive love of food.
  • I operate from the principle that you are doing your very best – with the tools you have at the time. Even when our best is complete shyte – it’s still our best. (The trick is to go easy on ourselves while we acquire better psychology tools)
  • I love ‘one on one’ work and – as too many people are suffering terribly from unnecessary and reversible distress – my jam is also creating and distributing accessible, effective – even fun – psychology tools to as many humans as possible.
  • If you like, you can check me out on LinkedIn.

There’s nothing wrong with you and it’s not your fault – you simply need better tools


$NZ 700 + GST per hour – at your home or office within central Auckland, NZ. N.b. this option is available only for subsequent sessions. 

$NZ 500 + GST per hour by Skype or phone (no extra cost for phone within NZ & Australia)

Please note, the first session is a little different…

  • The first session is 30 minutes more than a standard session – so you get 90 minutes for the price of 60
  • The first 10 minutes is free and no obligation.

Click here for more information on getting your weight control coaching – including refund policy


Do ask about complementary premium services, such as exercise, or ‘on call’ or retainer services.

If you want to be in control of your weight – and not the other way around, click here to contact me

Unless I’m in the Himalayas (and I have no immediate plans) I’ll respond within two working days.

Further testimonials:

“Hi Rebecca, I really loved your talk and was totally inspired. My procrastination level had been over the top for quite a while. I was getting through each day just spending half my time thinking about what I should be doing next. I used [the psychology technique] religiously for a week and was totally stunned by how much I achieved!!

I was having problems filling up the day with tasks as I had never structured myself so well before.

I was achieving lots and ‘getting things done’ so well it felt like magic. I had a month where the wheels fell off and I was away from home with family deaths and stuff and I noticed by not using [the psychological technique] I was falling back into old habits again. So I am back on to it and can’t thank you enough for the wisdom you shared. It works really well for me and has quite realistically changed my life. Keep up the great work, regards Robyn”


“A+! I’m pretty chuffed with that!!!!! I am very proud of getting more life balance along with study and getting an amazing result! Thank you Rebecca, understanding what was behind my procrastination and self-sabotaging behaviors was like turning the light on.

I am now able to move forward with confidence (and less fear) knowing that I have an amazing toolkit of learnings and techniques to help keep me on track. You’re a star!”


“[…] I love the fact Rebecca’s techniques are both practical and SUPER easy to implement.  A personal favorite is [her psychology strategy], which has even become popular with my own clients since discovering for themselves its mind-focusing ability (who needs Ritalin?) Rebecca has that rare talent of explaining complex psychological difficulties in such a way anyone can understand them, comprehend their provenance AND know how to achieve a more desirable outcome.”


“I would like to strongly recommend Rebecca Stafford as a counsellor and a coach in both the academic and emotional support capacities. I came to her in a stressed state whilst in the last months of finishing my PhD in 2014.

My anxiety had climbed to unsustainable levels and was inhibiting my progress. Rebecca calmed me, and gave me the confidence to complete my PhD. She also showed me some effective skills to improve my emotional health.

Rebecca was very easy to talk to. I felt that she was really hearing me, and although I felt ‘silly’ and ‘needy;’ she made me feel secure and respected no matter what I said.”


“It’s been an interesting journey with Rebecca. She’s helped me understand myself in the ways I think and operate. This is allowing me to deal with difficult situations and day to day life in a much better way rather than how I used to; with anger and punishing myself or others. We have done some interesting experiments and I look forward to doing more. Seeing, noticing, and feeling change is great”.


“Rebecca was a lifesaver when I was struggling to complete my Master’s thesis. Procrastination and dubious time management habits had me in a pickle and Rebecca steered me in the right direction at the right time. Her understanding of what I needed initially and then the subsequent supportive guidance got me to the finish line. I still wonder how I would have fared without her intervention”


“I was privileged to have Rebecca’s guidance at the time I was struggling to complete my Master’s thesis. By encouraging me to practice [psychology] strategies, I was able to manage my anxiety and overcome my procrastination.
Had it not been for Rebecca, I doubt I would have been able to continue. I owe the completion of my thesis entirely to her intervention”

If you want to be in control of your weight – and not the other way around, click here to contact me



Q. Do you guarantee weight loss?

A. No, for two reasons. First of all the focus isn’t on weight loss – it’s on emotional and physical health. Secondly, while unwanted weight is usually lost in the process of becoming healthier, you have control of this process, not me. Unless I live with you 24/7 – and that’s another story – I can offer you support and psychology tools for weight control, but I can’t make you use them. (which is why I only accept highly motivated clients.)


Q. Are there any forbidden foods?

A. Absolutely not. Forbidden foods are forbidden! Check out my short article the ‘Top strategy for beating emotional eating‘ if you haven’t already.


Q. Do you make clients exercise?

A. I don’t, and can’t, make clients do anything. However your body loves to move, and your mind benefits also. We’ll look at easy ways to build the habit of gentle movement into your life for less stress, and more ease and energy.
I’ll confess here I am a huge fan of yoga. A good teacher provides the perfect multi-tasking exercise: strength, flexibility, and relaxation. And there are plenty of excellent yoga DVDs and even YouTube videos. Something to think about…


Q. What’s your refund policy?

A. Click here for refund policy details


Q. Your fees are expensive!

A. My fees are exactly what I currently need and want to charge for one-on-one work. I value my 12 years studying and practicing psychology, as do the people I’ve helped over the years. I love one-on-one work, but – aside from my 12 year’s hard won expertise – one-on-one work is also time consuming with the customized preparation for each client. This also limits the number of clients I am able to work with.

I hope you also value your skills and expertise.


Q. How many sessions does it take?

A. It’s personal. You can get all the weight control tools you need from a single session. Others enjoy ongoing support.


Q. I’d love to have weight control coaching with you, but I just can’t afford it – do you have any less expensive options? 

A. You can access for free articles on this blog. Some are directly on weight control (Top strategy for busting emotional eating habits) and some are indirectly related to weight control. Articles in the near future I’ll publish include ‘How to tell if you are sabotaging your weight loss’ and ‘It’s not your fault: How stress is making you fat (and what to do about it)’. You can subscribe to my blog posts here.

However, more budget conscious alternatives to the one-to-one Health Psychology coaching are in the pipeline. My psychology strategies for weight control will likely be available next year in the form of an interactive online course. At this early stage, it’s likely to be a video-based 2 month course, with a support group, priced at approximately $NZ350.

After I get my next book published “The 21 day myth: breaking habits in under a week – including procrastination“. That book will contain the basics of habit change – as well as how to customize them to any habit including weight control and exercise. The estimated price of that book is $US29, and I’m optimistically aiming to have it out before 2018! Phew.

After a nap, I’ll be publishing a supplementary book focusing specifically on weight control psychology strategies, estimated price $US19.

So hopefully, something for everyone.

In the meantime I’ll continue to build the free weight control resources on this website. Subscribe here to access them.


Q. Do you do weight control coaching for men too?

A. Yes.


I want to do Health Psychology coaching with you! Where do I start?

Click here to read a step by step guide to starting your weight control coaching.


Subscribe: click here to subscribe to the latest goss and news on my weight control articles, services, and books. As well as weight control, I blog about changing habits in under a week – including procrastination. I share the psychology tools I used to take me from uni dropout to Ph.D. I also riff on all topics psychological – some grim, some funny – that I hope will help create healthier, happier, humans.     

Further reading:

Top strategy for busting emotional eating

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