Jo contacted me because she wanted to develop a healthy relationship with food and to lose weight. Whilst her own health was a high priority for her, her main motivator was to be a positive role model to her two beautiful young daughters and not wanting to pass on her own food issues to them.
She had developed what we become to refer to as ‘the black lab syndrome’ – if there is food around, it needs eating! She felt that every day she had a battle with food.
In therapy, it is important to have a goal to work towards. Jo’s goal was to lose 2 stone and to get into a specific dress that was in her wardrobe. We had 4 sessions spaced over approx. 10 weeks. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is not something you do weekly but more a case of developing new habits and these take time. I challenged Jo after each session to do some ‘homework’ and her success is strongly influenced by her commitment to helping herself by doing the activities suggested.
6 months after our first session, Jo reported that she had lost 42lbs and the weight was still reducing. Here is her story in her own words: “I am now a healthier, more active person. I have become more in tune with my body's needs and make simple daily choices that simply didn't feel available to me before.
My daily routine was focused around food...notably, what I couldn't eat battling what I wanted to eat and a destructive pattern of starving and stuffing.
I am now more contented, at peace with food and generally have a calmer, more confident attitude to life. I do not think about food anymore and trust that what I put in my mouth will not only be delicious but also exactly what my body is telling me I need. As Caroline said, my body is not a bin.
I can now have crisps, chocolate and snacks in the house without the nagging fear that I might quickly stuff them all in in a bid to get rid of them. I can take or leave them and feel no guilt if I simply fancy a piece of chocolate.
Food has taken on a new place in my life. I think more about what I would like to eat rather than what I can't or shouldn't eat. Menus and flavours are suddenly more interesting, I drink more fluids and have a lot more energy.
Before I visited Caroline my life was on a very unhealthy destructive path. I feel like this process has not just enhanced my life by losing weight and starting to enjoy food but it has made me healthier and given my body a new form of protection.”
The thing that I love about hypnotherapy when it comes to weight management is reflected in Jo’s words – it is not about being on an eternal diet but having a relationship with food that is positive. ‘Treats’ can still be a treat and enjoyed but food ceases to be a constant focus.
If you have been inspired by Jo’s story and want to know more, please get in touch.
Ann-Marie came to Adding Zest to seek assistance in losing weight. She found herself snacking regularly and had got to a stage where her self image was also affecting her self-confidence and motivation.
Ann-Marie started to lose weight straight after the first therapy session but she was surprised that she did not feel as if she was dieting. In her own words....
” I am much more aware of my body and the elements that affect my choices. This awareness has helped me lose weight by making better choices, supported by my subconscious mind, rather than feeling like healthy choices were always a battle between what I wanted and what I knew was good for me. I am now losing weight in a steady, healthy manner, without dieting.”
But weight loss was not the only benefit she experienced.
“I have learnt how useful full body and mind relaxation can be, and this has been incredibly helpful in other areas of my life, such as dealing with work stress. I have also realised that I am strong enough to achieve my goals and that when I am feeling alone and somewhat beleaguered by the world I can recruit those separate and powerful parts of me to help.”
Like many people who come for hypnotherapy, the only experience Ann-Marie had of hypnosis is that seen on entertainment shows.
“I was surprised how in control I remained whilst hypnotised. Following the taster session when I first experienced being hypnotised, I was much more relaxed during the process as I knew the myths about hypnotherapy were just that. It was like my conscious mind was watching from the sidelines, ready to step in if needed but happy to allow the rest of my body and my unconscious mind a chance to be heard. No matter how stressful work had been just before arriving my mind and body was completely relaxed through the whole experience.”
Ann-Marie had a total of 4 sessions and her weight loss has been consistent and at a healthy rate, losing 9 lbs over the month that we worked together. It was felt that at that stage, she has the resources and new skills to continue to reach her goal alone. Ann-Marie has the last words:
“I can be quite nervous meeting new people and being open and honest. Caroline made me feel completely relaxed and unembarrassed about talking openly and honestly. I knew I wouldn’t be judged; she just wanted to help me.
I also felt that the therapy was being tailored exactly to my needs, down to Caroline saying when she felt we didn’t need any further sessions at present. It was incredibly refreshing to hear work effectively being turned down as she genuinely felt it wouldn’t bring me any further benefit at that point in time.
I would recommend Adding Zest to anyone and would consider using Adding Zest again.”
It is very common that people come for help in one area of their lives but then experience benefits in other areas too. Bev came to me for help with weight loss and along with success in that area, “I have more confidence, I have the ability to now take a step back from things that previously would have made me feel stressed and to feel in control of situations.”
This is one of the key benefits of hypnotherapy, you cannot only change an area of your life that you are not happy with, but you also learn a sense of relaxation and calmness that also makes other areas of life much better.
Bev had a total of 4 sessions spread across nearly 8 weeks. After the first therapeutic session she was amazed that she had had a chocolate bar in her bag for several days and not felt like eating it. After further sessions she had changed her eating habits considerably, was drinking less and exercising more.
Our eating behaviour often stems from lessons learned or experiences earlier in life that you would not naturally attribute to eating habits. For Bev this was also true: “The biggest surprise to me was the feelings and recollections that surfaced from when I was younger that contributed to my over eating. Things that I hadn’t even given a second thought to.”
And it is accessing the subconscious through hypnosis that allows these childhood patterns to be adapted to something appropriate to adulthood. Bev started to lose weight slowly after the first session and her weight loss has continued at a steady rate. The key difference between dieting and her new behaviour is that it was not a chore and the changes felt natural.
“I would like to say you again Caroline for everything you helped me with. The weight loss has slowed down a lot but I am in a new 'stone zone' , I will confess, I still pick up a size 18 in the shop forgetting that I am a 16 now!!!
It's taking a little getting used to. On Monday I fly off to Corfu for a week and I have discovered some of my old holiday clothes fit me again as well as new ones I've had to buy, of course. Sounds silly, but I am looking forward to sitting in the plane seat and feeling comfortable.
I still feel as though I have a way to go until I will be happy with my weight but I am getting there and know I will be the size I want to be for my daughters wedding in a few months.”