Transformation that can occur with hypnotherapy
"Just believe in yourself. Even if you don't, pretend that you do, and, at some point, you will." – Venus Williams.
If you are asking yourself whether or not you should use hypnotherapy to help lose weight, then my guess is you probably should.
A person who is asking this is most likely someone who has tried everything – fad diets, weight loss, pills, etc. You are very likely to be a person who realizes you have some habits that contribute to being overweight, and you are probably frustrated at watching yourself break your commitment to your own health.
How do I find out if my weight problem is medical or emotional?
However, there are many reasons that people are overweight, some of them medical. So, it's a good idea, especially if you are middle age or older, to check with your doctor. For example, women nearing menopause often have thyroid imbalances. If you are hypothyroid, gaining weight can happen very quickly and losing it can feel next to impossible. A man with a highly stressful job and poor sleep habits is likely to put on weight as a reaction to a cortisol imbalance - as well as binge eating in the middle of the night or turning to sugary foods to maintain energy.
Every case is unique.
So, start with a checkup. And then, if you don't already have a naturopath or functional medicine doctor, you might get some advice there. The advice you get will help you form some kind of plan. Plus, having acquired some genuine medical idea why you are overweight, a therapist can step in and help you reverse those tendencies.
Another reason seeking medical help is so valuable is that it helps you have a reasonable idea of what to expect. Most people should attempt to lose one or 2 pounds a week – and no more.
How can my hypnotherapist help me lose weight?
Then your hypnotherapist can step in to help you with the rest of it – with the frustration over how long it takes to get back in shape, with the low self-esteem about your appearance or health, with the difficulty of sticking to a regime, with re-organizing your life and acquiring better habits, and/or with reversing the subconscious programming surrounding food.
Just as every client has unique medical reasons for being overweight, each has unique psychological reasons as well. Many people, especially women, are overweight because weight protects them from abuse of one kind of another. That might seem ironic – because being overweight is harmful to the self. Still, by being fat, a woman may feel less attractive, so she wards off advances by men, thus preventing sexual abuse. Or, by being fat, she can make excuses for not being successful – "They don't like me because I'm fat.” Such a woman may have endured psychological abuse that caused her to feel unworthy of success.
Some people identify food with comfort, and use it to self soothe. Others identify it with love, and so feel the need to serve big portions to family members. Some people may be afraid of poverty, and so eat everything that's put in front of them.
In any case, a good hypnotherapist can help you unravel your personal reasons, and then reverse your emotional attachment to them.
Developing healthy eating habits as part of a weight loss program
What will hypnotherapy for weight loss feel like?
Some part of your hypnotherapy may include sessions that take you back to the time in which you first became overweight, or formed certain opinions about food. But other sessions may be very affirmation oriented. In other words, the session will use repetition and positive reinforcement to help you incorporate new habits and reorganize your life.
For example, many find it difficult to lose weight when they are living in a household with people who appear to be able to eat whatever they want. If a wife needs to avoid sugar and her husband eats it a couple of times a day, not only will it be difficult for her to lose weight, but they could have problems in their marriage. So, the wife may need sessions that encourage her to keep her food separate from the husband’s. Or she may need psychological support to eat separately from the rest of her family.
When it comes to diet, the hypnotherapist should always be helping the client develop healthy, lifelong habits so that once the weight is lost, it stays lost. Habits take roughly 40 days to change. Taste bud cells turn over continuously, with an average life span of about 8 to 12 days. To maintain structural homeostasis in taste buds, new cells are generated to replace dying cells. Since the tongue contains hundreds of these cells, the cells all need to replace themselves when freed from past harmful influences in order to develop new healthy tastes. And that's one reason that habits take more than a month to break.
Many years ago, I stopped eating processed sugar as one of my means of handling autoimmune disease. In fact, there are a lot of things I used to eat that I don’t anymore — diet sodas and chocolate to name just two. It's been so long since I've eaten any of these, that if they happen to be in the ingredients in something I'm eating, I know it right away. And, I don't like the taste of them. More importantly, I can literally feel the effects these items have on my health – especially processed sugar. When I was a child and young woman, I ate processed sugar three or four times a day. My body was so used to sugar it couldn't tell that sugar was bad for me. I used to have terrible PMS, and my body often felt bloated. Now, I literally eat whatever I like, and as much as I like, and that’s because I now only have tastes for healthy food.
An obese friend of mine, who had seemingly tried everything to lose weight, got her stomach stapled. She lost over 100 pounds and very quickly. However, no one worked with her on her psychology, nor did she have a life-long approach. During the period in which she was allowed to eat only a few ounces a day, she ate sugar and preservatives. When I asked her why, she remarked that those foods were kind of ambrosia for her. She literally could not imagine life without them. Naturally, once she was allowed to eat larger portions, she gained nearly all of the weight back.
So, if maintaining a healthy, ideal weight has not been easy for you, it would be wise to invest in a two-prong strategy. First find out the medical lay of the land, and see if there is a medical reason for your body holding onto too much weight. Get a plan that works with your health situation. Second, address hidden beliefs and psychological needs so that you develop the patience and integrity needed to stick with this plan
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