It is Not What You Eat, It is Why

Facing up to the reasons behind your unhappy relationship with food might be the clue to help you make the changes once and for all. 

It can be hard to express our feelings in words and for some people it translates into over eating or ‘comfort’ eating.

Why is it that you find yourself overeating on those occasions that you find most stressful? Or in the evening when you might feel bored or lonely? But then in those situations where you are with friends and seem quite happy?

How come you know precisely which foods give you good nutrition but you slip into unhelpful eating habits?  ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results,’ as Einstein put it.

When working with clients who come for hypnotherapy for weight loss, any good therapist would take time explore with you how you look after yourself. How do you give yourself a treat when you’ve had a rotten day at work? If you find yourself turning to chocolate for comfort, then finding new ways that you can self indulge and relief stress would be an important part of any weight loss therapy. For some clients this is a hot bath, making contact with friends, buying yourself some flowers, playing scrabble on line; whatever it is for you. I keep hearing how after a difficult day my client will turn to the one ‘treat’ that is affordable, easy, quick and always available: food. 

Another aspect that seems hard for us is to talk to ourselves with compassion. So instead of the usual torrent of abuse we offer ourselves; ‘you fat cow, you can’t even keep to a diet, no wonder you are fat’ etc, my clients are encouraged to talk much more gently to themselves, even when our best intentions have gone astray. You might also like to add humour if it helps you; ‘oh well, that went a bit wonky, was only meant to eat two biscuits, not two packets’.

By increasing self care and talking to ourselves kindly, we can increase self esteem and reduce anxiety and guilt, so that we can remain motivated. This insight can give us an awareness that stays with us over a lifetime.

By exploring these issues and gently making small changes one at a time with the use of hypnotherapy, we take the pressure of constantly counting calories and that boring obsession with food. 

Food can be as addictive as any drug, but, unlike drugs, it is everywhere. We may simply have chosen food as our drug as it is legal, affordable, acceptable and available.

As a hypnotherapist and counsellor, I use this approach with clients looking to lose weight. Soon they come to see that there is so much more to this issue than just a lack of will power and that there are so many more benefits than just losing weight. Clients begin to feel better straight away as they decide to begin to like themselves just as they are while choosing to make beneficial changes from a place of power and choice, not from a place of “I must keep to my diet”. 

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