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Challenging the persons need for control and “comfort” will help get the person to achieve their desired goal, hypnotherapy suggestions for reduction or increasing food intake as appropriate will show the individual that change is possible after possibly a long time of staying stuck at the same weight. Cognitive/Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and NLP/hypnotherapy can shift it.

The proof of the pudding is not in the eating!

Robin W. Thorburn Hypno-psychotherapist

The longest established Hypnotherapy Pracice in Edinburgh.  www.exclusivehypnotherapy.co.uk 

As I walk about the suburbs of Edinburgh with my border collie, I see an increasing number of people running to get fit for summer.Some of these dedicated pavement stompers are a tad overweight, I think good on you for making the effort.  Winners do what losers don’t want to do. I know this is a contentious remark and when it comes to health and living longer, sometimes my clients require a sharp reminder that they are not immortal and that buying too many cakes and biscuits is akin to buying bad health lottery tickets.

My clients who successfully lose weight report back that a “lifestyle change” is what helped them.  No diets, just a realisation that it is prudent for them to take control of food.  In other words they no longer let the tail wag the dog! They always have a choice, it may be a rotten choice but they do have a choice.

In the words of the legendary Psychologist: Dr Albert Ellis.Short term hedonism has its distinct advantages, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow I may be dead.  Chances are you’ll still be alive but with a hangover.

I encourage people to see certain foods as dangerous as cigarettes and then invoke an attitude of “no debate, that’s the way it now is”.

I explain: that if they were standing in a greenhouse on a summer’s day and a child next to them was asking for a bottle of green liquid from the top shelf that they could not reach.  They might be amazed by the reasons the child comes away with to try and persuade them to hand them the bottle.  Such as “it looks good and I am sure it will taste good” but you would never, ever give the child the weed killer?  No, they reply, definitely not!  So why then are you giving it to yourself?!  Not just a little bit-no debate!  Certain foods are just no longer up for discussion.  When the person accepts this they will not then disturb themselves further by thinking that they are missing out.  In Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (the pioneering cognitive therapy) we call this “can’t stand it itis”.

Also the older we get the more the metabolic rate slows down so we still think we can eat like 25 year olds. Of course, as humans we are all fallible and mistake making so it is likely that we fall off the wagon.  The secret is to get back on track quickly and not to awfulize.

At this point in a therapy session I usually explain that if there was a plank of wood a foot wide, stretching from one side of the room to the other and I said that I would give you £1000 if you could walk across it without losing your balance?  Most people say no problem, I can do that.  Ok, I say “what if there was a pit of snakes underneath the plank of wood?  Their whole demeanor changes and then say” That’s different”.  But all that has really changes is their focus of attention has moved from the plank of wood to the pit of snakes.

What do you want from this situation I ask?  “To lose weight” they reply.  Well focus in on the plank of wood and not the pit of snakes.  Life is representative of the pit of snake it is how you manage it.

Many people do not pre-plan their food so then tend to eat the wrong food “on the run” as they are so busy or starve themselves all day then when they get home from work, then binge.  Akin to a camel reaching an oasis!

Small amounts of good food throughout the course of the day, keeps hunger at bay. Another old adage stands true as well, “What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over”.  In other words don’t buy it in the weekly shopping.

Armed with practical advice we then move to hypnotherapy which is pleasant comfortable self awareness.  Many people’s perception is what they have seen on television with stage hypnotists. I explain that they select the most impressionable people with a series of suggestibility tests.  Huge point: if the person was asleep or unconscious they would not hear anything.  I explain that the medical profession has been using it for hundreds of years.

Before hypnotherapy, we formulate suggestions that will be helpful for the individual, such as feeling comfortably full sooner and reducing portion size.I usually ask them to be much more aware of any food that they put in their mouths.  “Aha experiences” from cognitive therapy.Calmness, relaxation and confidence are all intertwined in the hypnotherapy session to reduce stress and comfort eating.

On subsequent sessions, when the person reports back success, my most often asked question is “what are you doing right”?  No debate is the response. I also counsel that it takes time for the scales to shift in their favour but it is the gradualness that makes all possible.

There is an old story of a lady walking through Holland shortly after the Second World War; she came across a lone Dutchmen working in a bomb site putting one brick into a wheelbarrow after the other.  “How can you ever hope to rebuild Holland in such a slow manner she asked?  The man looked up and said “It is the gradualness that make all possible”!  Look at Holland now.

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