The trick to quitting alcohol, heroin, and smoking, is to not pick them up in the first place. Complete, total abstinence is the key to recovery.
The problem for overeaters is that they must still ingest their “problem” around three times a day. Try helping an alcoholic to get sober, by forcing him to drink three whiskies a day, and see how well he does! The first rule of quitting any addiction – abstinence – is broken as soon as the problem is food, because humans have to eat, every day.
That’s just the beginning of the challenges facing someone who wants to lose weight. So many of our family and friend rituals revolve around food in a social setting – Christmas family dinner, Sunday brunch with friends, dinner and a movie, workplace birthday morning tea, weddings, Easter, barbecues – the list goes on. Factor in our wealthy economy, where fast food is cheap, easy, and full of addictive fat; the most popular programs on television are cooking shows; best sellers in book shops are authored by Nigella, Jamie, Martha, Stephanie and Gordon – and you have a recipe for a food obsessed culture. Just add a pinch of “I’m too tired to exercise today”, a dash of “I’m so stressed I need to just chill in front of the TV”, and a dollop of “This cheesecake makes me feel better”, and you have the full disastrous picture. Over fifty per cent of the population is overweight because it’s just so damn easy.
Resisting all of this – the easy eats, the glamorous TV chefs and their latest full-colour published offerings, the sedentary lifestyle, the social life revolving around food in one way or another – is a great start, but only half of what’s needed. If you are overweight, chances are you’ve got at least one other problem you need to tackle, and that’s the hardest one. It’s the Voice in your head grinding you down, destroying your will, weakening your determination. It’s the saboteur annihilating your chances, from the inside.
You know what that Voice says. It says, “You’ll never succeed”. It says, “You’ve always been fat, so you’ll always be fat”. How about “You’re not worth it, you’re not good enough, and you don’t deserve to be skinny and cute”? Or “You can’t handle the pain or the pressure”? Or “Even when you’re skinny they still won’t like you”? The Voice says a lot of hurtful mean things, and they’re all coming from you. Or, more accurately, your subconscious.
This is where hypnotherapy really stands out in the fight for weight loss. It goes directly to the source of the Voice, and turns it off.
The fascinating thing about our subconscious is that it is like a child – it believes what it is told. It lacks the higher functions of the brain, which sorts information according to knowledge, experience, and expectation. The subconscious does not differentiate between true and false, right and wrong, fantasy and reality. Everything is real to the subconscious, everything is true.
In a hypnotherapy session, you are gradually brought into a state of deep relaxation. In this state, the hypnotherapist can now communicate directly with your subconscious, excluding all those critical functions of the higher brain. When the hypnotherapist tells your subconscious that you are a wonderful person, the subconscious accepts this as true.
So when the hypnotherapist suggests to your subconscious that you are in control of your eating, that you deserve to lose weight, and that you will enjoy the weight loss process, the subconscious believes it.
In effect, hypnotherapy allows you to re-programme your brain, only this time you throw the saboteur out.
Through techniques like Visualisation, Post-Hypnotic Suggestion, and Repetition, hypnotherapy assists you in handling social/food situations, improving your confidence, gaining motivation to succeed, and turning the negative Voice into a powerful friend.