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Weight Loss Hypnosis

June 12, 2013

“You have a zipper going from your neck down your mid-line and continuing down both legs. Picture yourself unzippering that zipper, shedding the fat suit and revealing your ideal body. You are now free of the fat suit and living in your ideal body.”

For my birthday this year, a dear friend of mine gave me the gift of a weight loss hypnosis class. Living Lite has hypnosis centers all over the country and their motto is “Diets Don’t Work, Hypnosis Does.”

Now, you might be thinking “What? What kind of friend gives someone something relating to weight loss for their birthday?!” Well, a good one. One that wants to work on being healthy, having experiences, and learning all we can.

Now, admittedly, we both went into this thinking it was going to be a hoax or completely ridiculous. Like, “YOU ARE GETTING VERY SLEEEEEPY AND WHEN YOU WAKE UP YOU WILL BE SKINNYYYY!” My friend even overindulged (read: stuffed herself) in a pepperoni pizza beforehand in case we came out like zombies, unable to ever enjoy food again. But, it turned out to be a truly interesting and insightful experience.

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Essentially, I would describe the hypnosis experience as guided meditation/visualization. Throughout the 3 hour session, we did 4 “hypnoses”: the ideal body, problem food, fat suit, and overcoming obstacles. I’ll explain those more in a bit. But, in between the hypnoses, a certified hypnotherapist also counseled us on important topics involving weight loss including emotions, exercise, and nutrition. From their website:

Be the size you want to be; you will buy off the rack; clothes will be comfortable and you will easily button your slacks and jeans.

Be able to ask for what you want and not “eat your feelings”.

Drive by the drive thru.

Enjoy healthy relationships with your body and food.

Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re satisfied and move on with the rest of your life.

Stop thinking of food and eating all the time.

Enjoy regular food: No packaged products, no weighing, no more obsessing.

Some more interesting tips included having a mentality where you approach exercise as “recess”–an activity that is fun and invigorating, not a chore or draining; childhood myths–such as the “clean plate club” (you CAN save it for later! take it to go! wrap it up and eat it at as a separate meal!); different types of eating: polite eating (when a host encourages you to have extra helpings and you oblige just to note be rude), social eating (dinner parties and work functions, cocktail events and family affairs), grazing (eating little bits of lots of things without paying attention, often without much substance and high caloric content), and preventative/automatic eating (“I will probably be hungry in an hour or two and food is in front of me right now so I’ll just eat it…”). We discussed tips on self-control (for example, if you go to an office pizza party, start with one slice of pizza, sit down with an interesting coworker, and talk and nosh at the same time. You’ll find that you’ll feel more full the more slowly you eat in between conversation, and will also feel fulfilled by being in a social context) and the shame that comes with being overweight (one woman said that her goal in one of the visualizations was to “let go of this weight that has been protecting her from the outside world”).

Back to the hypnoses. You are probably picturing this:

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But, not to disappoint, it was truly like a group meditation. With the first hypnosis–“The Ideal Body”–we visualized not a body that we’ve seen in a magazine and idolized, but a healthy, happy body free of the excess weight we’ve been bearing. For “Problem Food,” we were asked to think of a food that has directly correlated to our gaining weight or maintaining an overweight body (for me, bread; for my friend, pizza) and we then did a visualization of that food being covered with bugs and becoming disgusting to us. With “Fat Suit,” we were picturing ourselves literally peeling off a fat suit and revealing our healthy, happy, ideal body freed underneath (now we know how Tyra Banks felt…not). And, with “Overcoming Obstacles,” we saw ourselves climbing a wall that represented our weigh struggles and making it to the other side.

And, we were even given real-world “homework” to incorporate into our lives outside the class:

For 3 days:

Eat only protein for breakfast.

Good sources of protein are: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese, Nuts

Pay attention to your energy and hunger levels. You should notice a decrease in hunger and increase in energy.

Eat a healthy lunch—not while you’re working! Be sure to have protein for lunch as you still need the energy to carry you through the rest of the day.

Go for a walk after lunch to clear your head and re-energize your body.

Have a healthy snack between 3-5, depending on your schedule. This is really important; it will prevent you from eating too much at dinner and beyond.

Have ½ shot glass of organic grape juice 5-20 minutes before dinner to help you eat fewer calories.

Eat one thing for dinner. Your body doesn’t need much fuel in the evening and it’s time to begin to wind down. You may be surprised to see how satisfied you feel with just a small amount of food.

The homework was honestly the hardest part of this entire experience, but it made me think about how this program is about changing patterns and adopting a healthier lifestyle and mentality. And that’s what I think weight-loss is all about!

I would recommend this program, even if just for the experience and information provided, for being a part of a community and learning what works for you and what doesn’t. And it’s always fun to tell people you were hypnotized the night before…

(Images courtesy of Spinsaver and UMNBlog)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    June 13, 2013 8:51 pm

    Wow, this does sound like a truly enlightening and positive experience – also definitely not anything like the stereotypes of weight loss hypnosis (I’m thinking – making people imagine they’re feathers, dancing around with their eyes closed, then waking up to realize they’re still unhappy and look the same, a la an episode of the animated show Doug I saw years ago). That being said, I think my one issue may be that the strict regimen of “homework” they assign seems somewhat incongruous with the messages of cultivating positive relationships to food and eating (e.g. “Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re satisfied and move on with the rest of your life”). Nonetheless, it seems like an overall (badly needed) move in the right direction – focusing on the long-term mental and psychological aspects of food, eating, and body weight, rather than the short-term physical “fixes.”

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