Many people come to see me for weight loss hypnotherapy because they think they are weak-willed – “I’ve got no will power” is a common phrase I hear.
Many think I will say “Sleep” and when they wake up it will stop them from overeating.
However; most of the time, overeating is caused by something deeper. Rather like an alcoholic, someone who is an overeater craves the next ‘fix’; only it is food not alcohol they desire.
It is useful when overcoming a food ‘addiction’ to recognise the reasons why you do it.
We are all different, but here are the 4 most common reasons why my clients eat too much:
ONE: Stuffing Down Emotions
We tend to grow up in culture that frowns on the expression of our negative emotions. We are urged to ‘put on a happy or brave face’, or words to that effect. Sometimes we need to be somewhat more diplomatic when we talk to others.
Many people grow up believing that they are not allowed to feel angry or upset because they are negative emotions. WHAT?
All our emotions have a genuine purpose. Anger, anxiety, sadness, jealousy and fear are all useful emotions in the right circumstance. But if we have suppressed our emotions we can learn to express them again in a logical, rational and helpful way. However; most people are not encouraged to or shown how to do this. They do not develop healthy communications skills with other people, and find that using food to repress or ‘stuff down’ those unwanted feelings is a ‘real’ help. Food becomes an emotional numbing tool.
TWO: Filling a Hole
Do you know the feeling? Something is not quite right but what? You can’t put your finger on it, can you?
Often the non-conscious part of your mind knows what the problem is. But that pain-in-the-a** conscious mind has no idea at all. The non-conscious might flag up clues and signals but it can be impossible to consciously recognise the signals.
How many people misinterpret these signals as hunger? I would guess hundreds of thousands. Let’s look at ‘Melanie’. She was very insistent that there was no emotional reason for her overeating behaviours. Her hunger was constant and never ending. Further questioning showed that ‘Melanie’ was in fact using food to fill a huge emotional hole. She had had a series of failed relationships.
During rapid hypnosis we addressed both the physical and psychological parts of her overeating. After just 3 hours her never ending hunger had gone and she was able to make other major changes in her life.
THREE: Because Someone Tells Us Not To
Apart from yourself I bet there is someone in your life who says things like: “Should you be eating that?” “That’s fattening”. How much have you got on that plate?
When someone tells you NOT to eat it – well we know what happens, don’t we? It is human nature to resist another person’s attempted dominance. In effect we are saying “Up yours”. These people think they are being well meaning by ‘reminding’ them of what they should (or should not) be eating. It is a fine line between encouragement and nagging. One works, the other – well yet again we know don’t we?
‘John’ had been married for 23 years. It was a very unhappy marriage and he came to me to lose weight and to work on his self-esteem which was just about non-existent. Talking to ‘John’ revealed much his overeating was directly related to his wife’s constant criticism of his looks, weight, low paid job and eventually his eating habits.
We were able to get in touch with his non-conscious mind and made massive positive changes to regain self-esteem and confidence. ‘John’ also made huge changes to the way he ate. All the changes were for HIM and how he wanted to be – not for her.
(I saw ‘John’ at a social event about 18 months later and he was a changed man, he also changed his wife! His original wife just found other things to nag about so he used his new found courage and moved out and on).
FOUR: Because I Can and I am
One of the biggest blocks to people losing weight is there unwillingness to take personal responsibility.
Do you really think you cannot control your eating; that you do not have a choice? Or is it simply that you love to eat too much?
This was the case with ‘Jean’, who came to see be due to family concern. They knew she was very overweight. She believed she was not. End of story as far as ‘Jean’ was concerned. In her initial consultation, ‘Jean’ told me that she had no intention of changing her eating behaviours as she liked herself the way she was and could see nothing wrong with it. Especially as “There are loads of people fatter than me”
We agreed to end right there and then, as a hypnotherapist simply cannot make someone do something that they don’t want to do.
If you want to stop overeating examine your motivations. Ask yourself these questions:
Am I changing my behaviour because you think I should?
Am I changing my behaviour because someone has told me to or wants me to?
Am I changing my behaviour because I truly want to?
A little self-evaluation goes a long way when we want to make life changes.