Why I’m Trying Hypnotherapy For Weight Loss
I’ve been doing Slimming World now for almost two years and during that time I’ve written about my highs and lows during this journey. The biggest high was almost losing 4 stone, but since then I am sad to say that despite my best efforts I have gained almost half of that weight back. This hasn’t been through my meals, after all you can see from this blog that my meals are Slimming World friendly, it has been through my inability to stop snacking on sweets and high syn foods in between meal times. That’s why I’ve decided to try hypnotherapy for weight loss, to help deal with the underlying issues behind my weight loss!
I want to really get to the route of my food issues, particularly my binge eating habits which have been an issue since I was about 14 (read more about this here). Hypnotherapy for weight loss, for me, is less about learning to eat the right things – Slimming World has helped me do that – it’s more about working out why I wasn’t able to eat the right things in the first place and why I struggle so much with continuing to eat the right things on a long term basis.
Does Hypnotherapy Work With Slimming World?
After some searching to find the best possible hypnotherapist, I came across Mind Solutions Hypnotherapy (www.mind-solutions.co.uk), run by Mark Vanner, and contacted him. My biggest worry was whether hypnotherapy worked with Slimming World. After all, I know that the Slimming World lifestyle helps me physically lose weight (that’s not the issue), what I needed help with is the underlying issues behind my binge eating and unhealthy habits.
Mark assured me that this would work, after all Slimming World really is just about eating healthily and with balance, and after an initial phone consultation I booked myself in for my first session. The plan was to help me change my habits to help me stick to my Slimming World plan and to really delve deeply into why I have such issues with food in the first place. From what I had heard before starting, the success stories I had read on the internet, and what Mark was telling me, hypnotherapy for weight loss sounded ideal for me and I was excited to get started!
Mark offers two main kinds of hypnotherapy for weight loss, but as he is doing with me elements from the two can be mixed together. There is the slightly more ominious sounding ‘hypnoband’ which works on making your stomach feel fuller quicker just like a gastric band would, and there is more general weight loss hypnosis. I was very clear from the get to that I still wanted to enjoy food but feeling a little fuller can go a long way! The fact that Mark could be so flexible was a big plus, after all there is no such thing as a one size fits all weight loss method!
My First Hypnotherapy For Weight Loss Session
My first session was the longest session I’m likely to have, it went on for a whopping three hours (maybe longer!) but it was a total eye opener. About two hours was spent just talking, discussing my eating habits, my childhood, my relationship with food, my life experiences, everything that really has any relation to my binge eating habits. It was the first time I think I’ve ever really sat down and talked at length about how my life experiences relate to the food I eat.
It’s funny when you think about it, for example, that we’re told throughout our entire childhood’s that we have to finish everything on our plate, even past the point of hunger, because there are children starving in Africa. Whilst this is totally true, this immediately promotes over eating and a sense of guilt when we don’t finish our plates. This was something that was bought up in my first hypnotherapy session, as a starting point to talking about my relationship with food, and it really got me thhyinking! Our childhood experiences are so instrumental in shaping the way we function as adults, so it seems strange that I really hadn’t related this to how I eat now before.
It’s obviously doesn’t all come down to being told to finish my food when I was a kid, we discussed many things throughout my childhood, teenage and now adult years which have implications in this area and it was surprisingly freeing to just lay it all out on the table like that. It’s part of the reason I wanted to try hypnotherapy for weight loss in the first place…I’m interested as much in the therapy part as I am in the hypnosis!
After two hours of talking it was time to get hypnotised…something which I have never ever done before! I know that my brain is somewhat susceptible to hypnosis from being in the audience at magic shows, but I had never personally been hypnotised before. I was slightly nervous, but more intrigued than anything.
To get a real sense of what it’s like to be hypnotised you’ll have to try it out for yourself, but I can tell you that it’s totally relaxing! Your brain is lulled into this relaxed state to help the messages go in, but you’re never unconscious and you’re always aware of what’s going on around you. You kind of float in and out of awareness, listening to the words being said to you at some points, at others thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner or that you forgot to put the bins out.
This first session was more about helping me to change habits when physically eating and to help me physically feel fuller quicker when eating, as well as some emotional things about how I see myself and how I view food. I was a bit worried as I was being hypnotised that maybe I wasn’t doing it right, as I felt very aware of everything, but before I knew it I was being counted back into the room and my eyes were springing open on command! The strangest thing after this first hypnosis session wasn’t the sudden motivation I felt, I had kind of expected (or at least hoped) for that, but it was the sense of joy that swept over me! I was relaxed, positive and motivated to lose weight…this was a great start!
What Happens Next?
On arriving home, Mark had sent me through an MP3 file which I was instructed to listen to every day. It’s a home hypnosis audio file to help fully cement the messages that had been given to me in that first session. I was also sent home with a ‘mood food diary’ to track my eating outside of meals and how I felt before eating each time I snacked on something that wasn’t a main meal. Not only that, but Mark gave me some tips and instructions about eating more slowly. As Mark pointed out to me, it’s not just about being hypnotised and flicking a magic switch to suddenly have a better attitude towards food, it has to have participation and change from me too!
For the first four days I felt fantastic, I was listening to my MP3 every night before bed, waking up with motivation and positivity and I was sticking perfectly to Slimming World. Then we went out for dinner and I missed one night of listening to my hypnosis at home. The next day I felt a total difference, whether this was just in my head or actually a result of missing it I don’t know, but I started to eat rubbish again…although interestingly not to the same extent as I would have before and many of the things I would do on a binge before didn’t happen. All the same I self sabotaged once again and the next couple of days weren’t great either.
So it has really been a week of two halves. The first half was perfect, proving to me that this hypnotherapy does work and that I want to stick with it 100%, and the second part was less good. This just proves to me that my issues are more deep seated and need more work which I’m more than prepared to put in! I’m off for my second session tonight…I’ll keep you all updated about how it goes! Tonight is about getting to the bottom of my emotional baggage, unpacking it and getting rid of whatever it is that makes me stuff my face…fingers crossed!
Please not that Mark from Oxford Hypnotherapy Clinic is providing my hypnotherapy sessions in return for me sharing my experiences with you. I will always be honest and upfront about my experiences, successes and failures as they come so you can expect these reviews to always be honest and open.