One of the areas I find the most perplexing as a clinical hypnotherapist is ‘weight loss’ and finding the correct set of suggestions that will make the greatest contribution to the person. I often ponder if there is a recipe for success and if so what is it? I suppose if I knew the answer I would be a very rich woman. Weight loss is challenging because individuals can have years and years of defective and damaging programming that has been hammered in to their mind from all directions. They come to me with the hope and expectation that I can simply wipe out/delete that programming in an instant or that I have a quick fix for them and no action is necessary on their part. It simply does not work that way.
My sister Nadine is a perfect example, in the past she was a ‘serial dieter’ as she refers to it. She reports she has probably gained and lost over a thousand pounds. This hasn’t been easy for her by any means, in fact it was a constant state of emotional, mental and physical struggle and she says she sufferers from ’post-traumatic stress dieting disorder’. She truly believes she has endured trauma due to all the dieting she has been involved with and that underlying feeling of never being ‘good enough’. I absolutely agree with her, she has experienced self-induced trauma and abuse, living cycles of punishment and deprivation for years. It’s extremely painful for people who have struggled to fit in to a check box reality which is unrealistic, objectionable and unnatural, a reality that has been programmed in to the consciousness and stripped people of their sensibilities.
The diet industry is a billion dollar industry, the world is saturated with books/DVD’s/ weight loss clinics/fitness gadgets/infomercials/hypnosis and meditations/slogans/magazine articles/…..etc. all professing and claiming to have the solution. We can’t turn on the television or look at a magazine or the internet without being flashed with banners saying ‘how to lose ten pounds in 5 days’ ‘how to have the beach body you’ve always wanted just in time for summer’ ‘the weight loss miracle no one wants to tell you about’.
But herein lies the problem, we have been ‘sold’ on what beauty is, what health looks like or what the ‘perfect’ body is, so much so that we value the medias opinion and ideas over our own. We have lost touch with something that should be an innate knowing. We have been hypnotized in to believing that there is something wrong with us, something that needs fixing or improvement. We have completely lost touch with reality and have allowed the power of suggestion, the medias influence to hijack our minds! We have bought in to recklessness and need to be dehypnotized!
Weight loss has been studied to the tenth degree; the psychology behind it; the emotional components; the nutritional factors; the science; the vibration of food it goes on and on and on. The act of eating and providing nutrition to the body has become extremely complicated and exhausting. The information about food(s) is always changing, one day something is good for you the next day it isn’t. Eat eggs don’t eat eggs; eat red meat don’t eat red meat; dairy isn’t good for you; you need omega 3-6-9; it’s better to eat 6 small meals a day; don’t skip breakfast; gluten is Satan’s spawn. Argh is it any surprise people are confused and stressed out!!
People should be enjoying food, the flavor’s, textures, colors and the process of cooking and eating. It should be a creative and wonderful experience. Instead food and eating has become a daily internal battle for some. Their conscious minds are inundated with repetitive inane thoughts like counting the calories they’ve consumed, adding up points, rehearsing what they’ve eaten during the day, critiquing their bodies assumed faults, beating themselves up for not sticking with an impossible diet and exercise plan. They are keeping their mind occupied with total rubbish, which robs them of precious time and awareness to enjoy the world around them. I instruct clients to tell that inner voice ‘off’, the voice that belittles, deprives, and is down right abusive, tell it where to go in no uncertain terms, take the power back.
Then there are ‘those’ lovely people who claim that weight loss or gain has little or nothing to do with genetics. Eat right and exercise and anyone can be slim and trim. I am not saying that all people can’t get in to incredible shape they absolutely can, but what works for one may not work for another and how the body looks once fit will be based on genetics, things like a person’s skeletal structure, muscle mass etc. My son is 6’2″ and weighs 150 lbs. believe me when I say he tries very hard to bulk up, but his genetics dictate otherwise and that’s ok. Another example I like to use are my horses, I have 5 of them grazing on the same grass on the same piece of land. I have two horses that if left to graze freely without regular exercise will become overweight, they are easy keepers. The others will be absolutely fine and will remain at a healthy weight. That is their genetics, even the two that gain weight when exercised regularly, in a fit state they appear stout, and that is their build. Another example is a jersey cow and an Angus cow. The jersey cow is thin with protruding hip bones and ribs showing all the energy goes into large udders and making milk. An Angus beef cow gains weight easily, is plump and has fat stores within the muscles, hence marbled steak. Genetics people.
So what is the solution? Well firstly there has to be better thoughts and focus that will override, replace or delete the old programming and change the internal perspective. We are able to create whatever the mind is focused on or gives attention to. The subconscious is impartial it simply responds to thoughts and feelings. If you focus on your fat for example and apply negative emotion it continues to create or maintain the status quo. You are programming yourself with focus/thought/feeling. So shift what you focus on. Instead of focusing on the fat, shift to what you do desire. Perhaps contemplate and imagine what you would feel like or look like at your optimum health. Would you be able to breathe deeply? Would you have more energy and strength? Would your clothing feel more comfortable? What activities would you participate in? What types of foods would you eat? Try to put as much detail and emotion as you can in to your visualization. Leverage the ability to imagine and visualize and feel to create the outline of what you desire.
Secondly learn how to speak to yourself with kindness and patience. Imagine you are speaking to a child. When you look in a mirror find something that you appreciate about yourself, perhaps the color of your eyes, the shape of your mouth, your curves and then acknowledge that appreciation. “Wow I have gorgeous eyes”; “I love my curves, they are beautiful”. When speaking to yourself choose something that resonates as truth. Once you learn how to speak with kindness you will start noticing other things that you love and appreciate about yourself, it becomes your new perception. I also encourage you to pay particular attention to what you watch, listen to, read or identify with, choose things that support your vision of health. And if you are a parent teach your children to love and appreciate the body they’ve been given. Let them understand early on that they are already ‘enough’ just as they are. Children are extremely perceptive little sponges and will absorb our every move, word(s) and actions. Don’t let them hear you criticizing your body or needing constant validation that you look ok or complaining about what you ate or how lazy you were during the day.
Thirdly you have to remove the instant gratification from your programming, the quick fix, the miracle pill, the drive through mentality. Simplify things in to one step, one action, and one goal at a time and build on it. This is how you initiate new healthy habits. The small steps are the building blocks of your larger vision. People fail because they want too much too soon and set impossible goals. Hence when you set a goal make sure it is achievable and realistic. What goals and actions would help you release the extra weight or obtain a healthier body? For example a goal could be something like eating a beautiful breakfast in the morning or cutting out pop from your diet or walking for 10-15 minutes during the day, realistic, achievable, steps towards better health and vitality. Then you can slowly and incrementally add other goals to your list, once you’ve established the first ones. Realistic goals motivate us to press forward because they are easily achieved and it feels good once we’ve achieved them. Feeling good is really what it’s about because feeling good gives us strength and momentum to want more of the same.
Next ‘trust’ and remember how to ‘listen’ to your body’s innate wisdom, pay attention to its signals. It will direct you when it is hungry, what types of foods give it energy or deplete energy, how much and when to eat, what it likes or dislikes. And it makes sense that the body finds it easier to assimilate and process foods that are close to their natural/fresh state versus packaged or manufactured foods. If you can’t pick a Twinkie off of a tree it’s probably not the best choice for the body. My body tells me to eat and enjoy chocolate … who am I to argue with its wisdom, I agree with it and thoroughly love and appreciate chocolate. To re-learn how to ‘hear’ the body it’s important to have time for quiet reflection.
Lastly recognize and try to gravitate towards actions that you are attracted to, inspire you, increase your energy… again ‘feel good’ stuff, I can’t emphasize that enough. If you feel weak or resistant every time someone asks you to go for a run chances are running is not the right exercise for you. There are so many wonderful ways to move the body, perhaps you’ll love to dance, or play tennis or ride horses. If the gym makes you want to cringe and pole dancing seems fascinating, then there’s the answer. I personally love to walk with my dogs, as soon as they hear me putting on my runners their energy level goes from zero to 100 in seconds. Their enthusiasm makes me feel excited, I get to walk in nature with beautiful surroundings and fresh air, and for me it doesn’t get much better than that.
I will end this blog segment with a link to a video that Kellogg’s has out right now. I am pleased to see the world is changing and advertising campaigns are shifting the focus to well-being. It is a powerful message and conveys the words and feelings that I am trying to share with you, I encourage you to watch it.
Light and Love