Amber was experiencing high stress at her new job, where, despite her best efforts, she was finding herself feeling undervalued, powerless, and anxious. Her inability to manage these feelings was causing her eating habits to deteriorate. Amber often found herself searching for a “little treat” after a hard day’s work. “I deserve it,” she thought.
Night after night, Amber escaped her stress and anxiety curling up on the couch with her favorite shows and snacks. The mind-numbing TV blinded her from even questioning her behavior. The calories and sedentary lifestyle added up to a point where she felt embarrassed and ashamed of how she looked.
She no longer wanted to go out, and she was too embarrassed to go to the gym. She wasn’t working out, and the added stress of her deteriorating body image only caused her to eat more. It became a vicious cycle fueled by a defeatist attitude. She knew that something had to drastically change.
People trying to lose weight often forget about a key component to a successful weight loss strategy: their mindset. It’s very common to start with sincere intentions, but when willpower fades, out goes the motivation and in come the chips and cupcakes.
Think of your mind as a computer: the conscious mind is like a temporary drive — where things like willpower get added and removed — and the subconscious mind is the motherboard that controls all your hardware and programming. This is why so many people experience a “yo-yo effect” when dieting. If your subconscious mind is not in line with your goals, it will always override your efforts to eat healthy, have healthy habits, and slim down — no matter how many healthy living programs you try to install.
This is where hypnotherapy comes in.
Hypnotherapy is a tool for retraining the mind. It can help people who want to develop healthier lifestyles develop a very healthy and positive relationship to food. Making healthy food choices isn’t just about what you eat. Especially in women, there is a huge correlation between emotions and bad eating habits. Many women who are not making healthy choices are not doing so just because they crave junk food, but because they use junk food as a way of feeling good with they are anxious or stressed.
By the time Amber came in to see me, she had resolved to succeed in her weight-loss goals. There was no room for failure. Week after week, she came in and told me how happy she was that she was able to exert control in a new way. We fine-tuned her suggestions until we felt we had thoroughly covered all of the different issues that haunted her. In no time, she had lost the equivalent weight of a small person. As she started taking control of her weight, she felt stronger, and she no longer personalized the mean comments and lack of support she received at work.
Even after that job, she continued to use the tools I had given her. She reinforced the suggestions I had given her at night by listening to the sessions that I had recorded for her. Finding that she had what she needed, she was able to space our appointments out to where she came in only when she felt she needed a tune-up. It’s now been over two years and whenever I see Amber, I see one of my greatest successes. She looks younger and taller and she is much more mindful of what she allows into her head and what she puts into her body.
If you see some of Amber in yourself, here are five steps you can start using today to get on the path to healthy living, using a basic version of self-hypnosis:
- Get focused on your goal. Sort out exactly what it is, and why you want to achieve it.
- Understand that your goal is reasonable and possible, because it’s what’s right for you.
- Write out or record a couple of sentences about what you want, why you want it, and why your goal is possible to achieve.
- Read the sentences out loud to yourself or listen to your audio recording daily, before you go to bed, and when you wake up in the morning.
- Understand that weight loss is a process. Continuing to reinforce your choice with your goal-oriented self-hypnosis script will help you make healthier choices throughout the day. With consistent reinforcement, you’ll quickly be living better and making healthier choices without even being conscious that you’re doing it.