What I love about hypnosis for weight loss...
If you had asked me 20 years ago what sort of job I would probably have in the future, I bet I would not have answered “helping people lose weight.” I’m also sure I wouldn’t have ever imagined hypnotherapy as a potential future career- not even for a second! I don’t think it was an option on the career aptitude test we took in 9th grade. Life continues to surprise me every day. So how did I come to be a person who hypnotizes people for a living? And why do I love it so much? There’s a wonderful Hindu teaching that goes something like, ‘there are hundreds of paths up the mountain. They all lead to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which one you chose.’ Well, there are about as many answers to that question of ‘how did you come to be a hypnotherapist’ as there are paths up that mountain. In hindsight, it becomes easy to see how many of the challenges and experiences I had earlier in life prepared me to be the person I am today. I bet that is true for you too, now as you read this: can you see how the things you used to struggle with were conditioning you for the strengths you now own?
People seek hypnosis for so many reasons. Whether it be to quit smoking or to break some other detrimental habit, or to gain a greater sense of confidence or peace of mind…my work with clients can look like many things. And yet, there’s one thread that weaves through each unique set of problems I see. If we follow that thread back to its source, we find one simple truth: self-acceptance and the deep void or wound that occurs when the thread is broken. And so my work becomes about reconnecting the thread of self back to that core place of deep and unconditional acceptance of self.
What does that have to do with losing weight? Please, let me explain. Because this is important, especially if you are someone who struggles with food, with your body, with feeling ugly or out of control. Looking back, I can see clearly how many of my personal trials and struggles were particularly centered on my own body and a sense of shame or unworthiness in my own skin. I also know those feelings of ‘not good enough’ manifested in eating disorders and chronic fatigue and low grade depression I endured for so many years. It’s hard to believe, but there was actually an era in my life when I fantasized about driving my car off the road just because waking up to another day of being fat and ugly was too painful to face. I know there are many people out there feeling that way right now. If this has ever been you, take a breath in. And out. Keep reading.
I have to laugh when I hear the old adage “people don’t change,” because I can point to a hundred ways or more that I’ve changed. At the top of that list is the way I’ve transformed my relationship to myself. Of all the things I’ve accomplished in life, I stand especially proud in my recovery from deep self-hatred to a place of self-acceptance and even self-love. I stopped dieting and starting learning to nourish and care for my body. And guess what – my body normalized at a healthy weight only after a short while of practicing self-care. I haven’t worried about counting calories in years. I enjoy being active and eating right because it feels good to be that way, not because I should or because it will make me thinner.
Of course people change! They do all the time, when they want to. I also KNOW people change because I see it happen with clients all the time. I have seen people change habits so ingrained they never thought it was possible to be another way. How is it that change possible? Well for one, you have to want to change so badly that you are willing to try something new. Most people end up in hypnosis because they’ve tried the conventional routes with no success. But it doesn’t have to be a last resort. Hypnosis harnesses the power of your imagination to bring forth the emotions and sensations of looking and feeling your best. And the more time you spend in that state of consciousness, the more automatic the behaviors become that actually enable you to change physically. It starts in your mind. Another way people change is by getting the right support. I see my role as one of support – I have many tools and techniques to support the proverbial journey ‘up the mountain.’ The herbal and nutritional component is huge. Having the deep nourishment from those powerful plant allies makes a huge difference in one’s struggle to feel good in your body. I love hooking people into the plants that can help them change their life. Heck, that journey can even be a light and easy one if you have the right gear. My goal is to provide so much support that my clients whistle their way up the mountain.
My favorite thing about working with people who want to lose weight is when I see them begin to glow. It’s subtle at first, after a few sessions when they are starting to see changes occur, but it grows. And after a few months it’s noticeable – that glimmer in the eye, and that absolute shimmer of joy emanating from them. You see this glow on people who KNOW they look and feel great - not in an arrogant way, but in a deeply peaceful way. The thing is, the glow doesn't happen just because you fit into the size you think is acceptable. Plenty of people shed pounds of fat but don’t feel better. They usually put the weight right back on or develop another addictions or coping strategies that only increase their suffering. If you think looking and feeling your best is about counting calories or having more willpower, you’re missing the point. The glow happens only in people who are at peace within themselves – who emanate the confidence that comes from deep unconditional acceptance of self.
So. Imagine this: what if losing weight began with getting into better relationship with yourself? It’s not a secret, but it’s a truth that often overlooked. The weight loss industry thrives on your insecurities and profits from your wounds. They profit by marketing the myth that you need to have more will power to lose weight. That you need to buy a product or try a new diet. That’s all myth. We gain weight for many reasons, but at the root is always deep emotional pain. Usually, in my experience, that pain comes from the feeling of not being enough. The habits of lifestyle that cause one to become overweight begin in the mind. And therefore, that’s where the healing must also begin. When you start changing the way you think about your body – when you start reframing your thoughts and learning to tend to yourself in gentle, accepting ways - that’s when the rest of the problems begin to fall away.
What I - and other practitioners like me - have offer to the world is an opportunity to go within, to begin the journey to self-acceptance and inner peace within your own mind. Looking and feeling better is just a byproduct of that inner journey. And sure, having a trim, fit body feels good. And you can have that too. It’s easier than you think. At the end of the day, we get up that mountain one way or another. I hope your journey is a beautiful one, and may it bring you back to yourself. And don’t forget – reach out when you need a hand or a leg up. I’ve got tools for you.