It is not news to anyone. America has a weight problem. The number of adult Americans considered obese is approaching forty percent according to the National Institute of Health. Another thirty-four percent are considered overweight. So right at three out of every four adults in the United States are overweight, close to 200 million people. These numbers continue to increase. The next generations are going to be worse off, however, if current trends continue, as one-third of American children are considered overweight or obese.
The causes of this weight problem do not surprise anyone. We are eating too much of the wrong foods and we are eating too little of the right foods – the clean, nutritional, healthy foods which (not surprisingly) are usually lower in calories. Regardless whether we are eating healthy foods or not, we are consuming more calories daily than we should. It is that simple, and we know it. We are culturally more docile, inactive creature, and as we gain weight, we move even less, putting on more weight and compounding the situation! I was the poster boy for modern America before my hypnotherapy.
Why are we like this? Why can we not change these trends? We have been (mis) programmed this way! We are not created this way. Our environment has certainly “shaped” us – round being our shape these days! It has influenced us through our Middle Minds. Our subconscious, but controlling minds, during stages of development have received too many wrong messages. It has been the comfort foods fed to us by parents. It has been watching friends in school as they munch those chips and drink those sodas. And the media certainly provided our little Middle Minds with images, sounds, and messages loaded with calories, from candies to sugary cereals to burgers and pizzas, colas and beer. Life’s a party; let’s celebrate and overeat all the wrong foods! Let’s find comfort in bonbons or a tub of cream. And if you do not believe you have been programmed, think of the last time you had this thought: “I shouldn’t eat this,” and yet you did just that. It probably happened within the last twenty-four hours. If not, your programming may be so locked in that you are past caring, at least until the next time you try to button your pants.
We know that this behavior and the attendant pounds do not come without consequences far more serious than just our clothes not fitting, however. The sheer breadth of health issues related to being overweight is amazingly sad. Being fat can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease (my issue), and stroke, many types of cancer, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, osteoarthritis, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and pregnancy problems. Emotionally, we are anxious, depressed, and despairing. Culture makes us want to hide – we simply do not look like the models and celebrities that fill the media, the John Candy’s and Chris Farley’s being exceptions, and we do know what happened to them. Economically we suffer, as well. We are less active and less successful. We fail to get promotions. We lose sales because we are unattractive. Our emotions make us want to run and hide, not engage the world in a productive way.
America knows what it needs to do. We need to lose weight, and there is a $70 billion dollar diet industry (not including the fitness industry) out there to help us. Aren’t we blessed?
Except there is a problem. Those pre-packaged meals, diet shakes, lite beers, calorie counting apps, color coded diet plans, weight loss pills and shots, thrown in along with counseling simply do not work for almost all of us.
Ninety-five to ninety-seven percent of all diets fail. By fail, I mean that every study finds the same thing. Within one to five years, any weight lost during a diet is regained, and often we add even more poundage on the rebound. Then the cycle starts all over again. We are certainly a nation of yo-yo dieters. I certainly was one. I had lost large amounts of weight, forty plus pounds, a number of times in my life. I soon learned that any weight loss was temporary, though. At first, I could fight the weight return for four or five years before the battle was lost again. With each subsequent diet, the “re-poundage” came on a little quicker. At the end, I reached the “Oh, what’s the use!” phase. I had reached the acceptance level of grieving.
Although I have had several semi-successful runs at weight loss, many were short-term diet failures, which, as it turns out, is also standard operating procedure for most Americans. The vast majority of diet attempts end within the first seventy-two hours. Nod your head if that has happened to you. What triggers these sudden failures?
It is Monday morning, you have committed to cutting back this week in order drop a few pounds. You weigh yourself, drink your coffee black, eschewing the sugar and the cream you prefer. You are off, having noted your weight first thing. Then you get to the office, and behold, Sam has swung by everyone’s favorite donut shop and brought in a dozen for the office. About mid-morning, someone sticks his head in your office and said it’s Mary’s birthday, and they about to cut the cake. At lunch, there is an office meeting, and the meal is being catered – free sub sandwiches for everyone. That Lean Cuisine you brought with you remains in the fridge. The afternoon is spent choking down cups of coffee, trying to work through the various sugar highs and lows, the sleep-heavy feeling of that loaded meatball sub. Arrgh!
At least you can head home and have a salad, right? Tomorrow will be a different day. Maybe you can really make some dieting progress then. But home brings news of a sudden gathering plan. The home team is playing on national TV tonight, and the crowd is congregating at your place. Wings and pizza, chips and cookies, and ice cream are starting to arrive. And of course the beer is cooling in various ice chests being brought in.
So Monday was a disaster. The scales tell the story the next morning. Your excuse is that the sudden spikes in weight must be water retention caused by all the salt. Tuesday is going to be different. Ah, no doughnuts. Good. No birthdays, either. Are those hunger pangs you’re feeling? What are the signals your body is giving you? You know your body is craving a sugar boost. Committed to fighting through today, you grab a glass of water and focus on the work at hand. The afternoon brings an email with a one day BOGO for your favorite Chinese restaurant. You fight the temptation. On the way home, you see that billboard with that mouth-watering burger displayed. You look away, only to notice every fast food restaurant along your route home. How do all of these places stay open! You make it through Tuesday.
You fight the good fight all week. By Friday morning you swear the clothes are fitting a little better. You avoid Happy Hour with the gang after work that evening. Saturday morning brings good news. You are down a couple of pounds from Tuesday morning. Your spouse suggests a late breakfast at your favorite eatery. You tell yourself that you have been good. This will be your reward. And with that, all your effort is destroyed. The weekend turns into a dietetic disaster. Monday will bring a fresh start.
By Monday morning, the motivation is just not quite as strong. But you black-coffee it, and you are off. Then Sam rolls in with another dozen. Damn!
Why do diets fail? Our habits, drives, instincts are far too strong. They exist deep inside us – in our Middle Mind. They are much more powerful than anything our conscious effort and determined will can overcome. Our conscious mind and our will may push us through a day, or a week, or on very rare occasions a totally successful weight loss toward our goal. For most of us, though, after some time all the weight returns, along with the despair.
If a person really wants to lose weight and not have to fight a losing battle the rest of his life, the core mental programming needs altering. This alteration is not a matter of the will. It is not a matter of education or re-education. Books won’t help. Plans won’t help. Apps will ultimately fail. Health coaches and pre-packaged meals are not going to get to the core issue – those ingrained behaviors that will rule the day.
The answer so many have been looking for, as it turns out, is incredibly effective, surprisingly fast, and best of all, permanent. Once the programming is set aright, the daily battles with the demon donuts and other temptations are effortlessly won. The answer is hypnotherapy.
In hypnotherapy those overwhelming drives that destroy your best dieting efforts can be “got at.” That is the key: Getting to the Middle Mind where your worst habits and instincts subconsciously reside. That is step one. The hypnotherapist then provides the client with various tools he or she needs to allow his/her own mind to effectively re-program to healthy settings. Literally, a lifetime of corrupted habits can be addressed, removed, and over-written with a new positive outlook and a winning plan for a lifetime of healthy nutrition.
The nuts and bolts of the hypnotherapy plan of course include the basics of weight loss: consuming fewer calories than you are burning. You wil use a basic, highly nutritional plan, and you can find everything you need at the grocery store. Regular monitoring of intake is essential. You will consistently measure your weight and review your progress.
I had the “terrible three” of the weight battle. I ate too many of the bad (high calorie) unhealthy foods. I ate too little of the good, nutritional foods. And I consumed too many total calories daily. As a client, I needed to first re-orient to new tastes and enjoy the good foods, like broccoli, which I now love. I needed aversion therapy related to sweets, fast foods, cheese and crackers, and so much more. I need re-programming to better interpret signals from my body so as not to overeat. I am living proof of the subtle, almost unexplainable, mind changes that can take place through hypnotherapy.
Your hypnotherapist needs to get to know you well, identify your issues, and to coordinate your goals. With each session, your progress will be evaluated, and your plan will be updated. Mixed in with the basics of the weight loss will be positive encouragement that will be a bonus of the hypnotherapy that sticks with you a lifetime.
After you reach your weight goals, you will work to reinforce your new drives. Higher calorie-count menus will be re-introduced into your daily fuel intake. This re-feeding is monitored as your new daily needs are evaluated. As the sessions come to an end, you will be amazed at how your outlook on food and your dietary needs have changed. You will have tools and a new mindset to tackle the culture of overindulgence. You will have not only a new confidence that you have probably never enjoyed before, but also a very different perspective on who you really are physically.