A lot of people ask me if I can help them ‘lose weight.’ I see bumper stickers that read ‘Lose weight now … ask me how.’ Many body-conscious organizations talk about ‘weight loss.’ Maybe you would like to ‘lose’ a few pounds, or kilos, too?
People lose things, usually, by mistake. They lose things they want to be reunited with, like keys, fortunes and loved-ones. You don’t lose a cold, you get rid of it. You don’t lose a habit, you break it. This may seem little more than a play on words, but words are very important. (So much so that there’s a specific site in your brain dedicated to naming vegetables, and nothing else!). As long as you think of ‘losing’ weight you are making life difficult for yourself. Instead, think of reducing, dumping or getting rid of weight. Or better still, think of control - weight control or, more likely, eating control.
I mostly help people with weight reduction when there are good medical reasons for it, such as clinical obesity, colitis or irritable bowel syndrome. But I work with plenty of other people who come to me because they think they are too big. The conversation usually goes …
Patient: “I’m a size 16 and I want to be a size 12.”
Patient: “Because then I’ll be happy.”
Me: “Why will size 12 make you happy?”
Patient: “Because I’ll be smaller.”
Me: “You know, I’ve seen a lot of miserable size 12s.”
Patient: “I suppose so.”
Me: “So what is it you really want, smaller or happier?”
Patient: “Happier … can you do that?”
I’ve never really understood why people think shedding weight is the golden road to happiness. Sometimes it’s because they don’t like something within themselves and, as your size encapsulates everything, it’s an obvious target. Generally, however, it’s the wrong target.
One patient came to me at 27 stone having had a heart attack – so good medical grounds for doing weight reduction. After 12 weeks, she was down to 22 stone and could get on aeroplanes again. She was also more mobile, had better blood pressure, knew what it was to feel hungry and full, and had tons more energy. She was happy.
She was happy at twice the size of many people who believe that dumping weight will make them happy.
If you have sound medical reasons for wanting to be smaller, dieting is unlikely to help. 99% of dieters put the weight back on because they never stop wanting the Kentucky Variety Meal and never really enjoy the spinach salad. They torture themselves daily, eating things they don’t want or like and denying themselves the pleasure of food they enjoy. What a life!
When I do eating control I use hypnotism to change what the person likes to eat. When they love fresh fruit and vegetables and can’t stand cream and butter, they can eat as much as they like. They don’t have to pretend to enjoy it because it’s supposed to be doing them good. It’s painless, permanent and doesn’t require discipline. You eat what you like, only now you like the right things.
Faulty eating is often a coping strategy for other issues. If you just aren’t happy and think that going down a couple of sizes will solve your problems, you may be about to work on a symptom whilst ignoring the cause.
So as you prepare to ration yourself into last year’s swim suit, ask yourself what you really want; to be smaller, or to feel good about yourself and good within yourself?
Here’s a nice letter from someone who came to see me.
I never get the chance to sit and log on so instead of e-mailing you Bridget Jones type musings have used snail mail instead!
Changes I have noticed:-
1. No longer seem to be an ‘emotional’ eater – if angry, anxious etc etc food is irrelevant.
2. When going to café, gym etc notice healthy things like apples, bananas – if these are unavailable, I eat nothing!
3. N~~~~ went to a friend’s party on Sunday. When he gave me the party bag to look after I didn’t even look in it! (I used to scan it and help myself to sweets and always eat the birthday cake within as N~~~~ doesn’t like it!)
4. Supermarket shopping – I always used to choose rubbish items – popcorn, cakes, sweets etc and instead of packing them I would put them in my handbag to eat on journey home. On Sunday I did this … with GRAPES!! Yikes!
Will write more as they occur to me
Isn't that nice?