Of course you do!!! Every person who has a weight problem knows he/she should be exercising, should be eating healthily, should be dieting, should Not be binging or overeating................ But the fact remain that we go to weight loss programs or gyms to be told what we already know.
How many of us have tried Weight loss programs and resumed back to the same eating patterns or weight gain? Some of us do benefit for a little while but sooner or later the mind seems to revert to those behaviours that we know is not healthy for our weight but we go back to them: binging, overeating, eating in secret, becoming depressed with our weight and creating the vicious circle of needing to eat then to feel less guilty!!
Over the past four years of practising Hypnotherapy in Reading, Wokingham and Windsor and having seen several clients who call me for weight loss I realise that the real focus is not the weight they are gaining from the food but the emotional and mental reasons that the mind are attributing to the food they are taking in.
I will ask a client a simple question: is your eating habit just a habit? What do you feel about yourself when you look at yourself in the mirror? Can you imagine yourself slimmer or fitter?
The answer is almost always the same from my clients over the years: "I eat when I feel bored or depressed", "I eat because I started eating in secret as a child when i was being bullied", "I eat when I am stressed", "I eat because it makes me feel warmer for a little while", "I eat because it feels less empty inside for a little while", "I can't stop because if I do it feels as if I will faint or die". Now if you ask the same question to a person who has NOT got an issue with weight loss or binging/overeating they will invariably say: I eat because I know its lunchtime, I eat because I feel hungry and I stop when my belly feel satisfied, I choose my food because I want to enjoy it......
The main difference between a compulsive or secret eater who ends up in putting a lot of weight and a person who eats healthily, in my opinion is simply the fact that for the first group food is not being perceived as food by the mind, is a source of survival when the emptiness in the pit of their emotional being kicks in, it is a retreat from their fears and anxieties, it is a source of guilty pleasure in the mind that does not believe it deserves any pleasure because it has a very low self-esteem etc....
So as a conclusion until the mind is not helped to perceive food as just a physical and sensory source of pleasure, until the mind has not found healthier ways of satisfying the emotional and mental needs hidden behind the compulsion for food, that mind will sooner or later keep reverting to food and no amount of rational, reasoning, or logic will work for log. WHY?
Hypnotherapy believes that along with the conscious, logical brain that knows what is right and wrong we also possess the right brain, the more emotional, instinctive Unconscious brain. The unconscious brain ahs only one function: learn from our daily experiences and then create formulas/triggers to propel us to what will give us pleasure and protect us from any source of pain or danger. It is the part of the brain that is more controlled by the imagination and instinct than logic.
So for someone who experiences his/her driving lessons as exciting, challenging and pleasurable by the time thy come to the test they are more likely to relax and pass because their unconscious mind has absorbed driving as okay and healthy. Now compare that with someone who is always tensed and anxious while learning to drive; for whatever reasons that is so, that person's unconscious brain is absorbing the driving as painful and as a way of protecting this person, their unconscious brain will starts ending signals of panic and "flight or fight" responses and without doubt their body and mind start blanking out in the test, even if their logical minds know what to do. And there is the start of a driving phobia for you!!!
A simile can be drawn for food:' if in my younger days, I reached out for food when my parents are fighting, or no one is there for me, Or simply when I need to feel warm and strong my unconscious mind starts associating food with a sense of security, pleasure, and warmth. As I grow up my logical brain knows I have already had a big meal and snacks and two glasses of wine but as soon as I start thinking of something upsetting like the presentation that is scaring me the next day or the party that I have to go to and I feel inferior to most women there.... My mind will start the frantic need for security and will bring the image of that bar of chocolate lying in the ridge.... And what do you know I'll go for it. For a mind where there's' no such trigger in the unconscious brain there's more space to think of calling a friend to talk to, writing down the presentation and rehearsing or simply relaxing with music for the next day etc etc.....
Hypnotherapy has proven very successful over the years with weight problems resulting in low self-esteem, anger, stress, self-confidence issues etc..... Because it aims to work directly with the unconscious brain; by getting clients into a much deeper state of relaxation where the brain waves slow down and the unconscious mind is more absorbing and attentive, we help clients' minds to:
- change their perceptions of food as just a source of physical pleasure; so after just two sessions, suddenly they are stopping to eat as soon as their stomach is satiated even if there's still food on their plates
- Find healthier ways of satisfying the needs hidden behind the food issues: assertiveness skills are taught, self-image is changed in the unconscious brain, working with the emotional needs to be approved and loved that are not being expressed....
- Clients are taught self-hypnosis so that they can reinforce these new habits and perceptions in their unconscious brain with effects very soon in their behaviour and actions.
Hypnotherapy works beautifully simply because it works directly with unconscious brain. We all know consciously, logically what we should be doing but if the unconscious brain is till stuck with old learned, reactive behaviours it will revert to them sooner or later, until the changes are not effected at that deeper level of unconsciousness!!