As a specialist in weight management hypnotherapy I see lots of people wanting to change their shape and size. So we sit and talk awhile.
Now I'm no kind of dietician or personal fitness instructor so what I bring to the table is an understanding of a persons own emotional and psychological issues surrounding food and eating and feelings and so on……….which in a hypnosis setting really means that what I bring to the table is a way for you to understand your own feelings and behaviour. Seriously I don't know why you do the things that you do, but you do……and no amount of words can help you explain to me the complexity that is the you inside.
And the fact is that even just thinking about why you do the stuff you do and trying to be logical about it is pretty much impossible. Overeating or undereating doesn't make sense to your conscious mind. Nobody sets out with a plan to feel uncomfortable, ashamed, guilty or ill, or unconfident or misunderstood, to feel unsexy or in pain or stressed and depressed or under pressure from society to be different and conform or any of a myriad of other negative emotions that clients have expressed.
As an aside I do not under any circumstances believe that being overweight for example should make anyone feel like this, but if you are coming to see me then its not because you are truly happy about how you feel.
And so at some point the grand old daddy of all phrases makes its appearance 'Emotional Eater'
To which nearly everyone will say "Naah not me, I don't think so, I just enjoy eating the stuff I do, I get a craving….I'm just always hungry, I've always been a big eater. Honestly I've got a pretty good life, nothing to get sad or mad about. I don't use food at all to mask or soothe my emotions." Or something along those lines.
Terming something 'emotional eating' doesn't mean you're cuckoo or not able to cope with things…..not in the slightest
Heres a little Emotional Overeating Fact Box……does anything tick with you?
1. Emotional eating is often thought to be caused by an inability to distinguish physical hunger from unpleasant emotional states.
2. There are a number of recognised differences between emotional and physical hunger. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly rather than gradually, is experienced as an inescapable craving rather than a hunger pang in the stomach, and feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly. It causes cravings of foods high in fat and sugar and is not satisfied once the person is full, leading to overeating to the point of discomfort.
3. Emotional eating triggers feelings of guilt and shame which do not normally follow eating to satisfy physical hunger.
4. Emotional overeating is a way of coping with or silencing a range of negative emotions. However, the feelings of guilt and shame which follow an episode of emotional overeating usually leave the person feeling worse rather than better.
5. As overeating can cause weight gain, over time emotional overeating can lead to further difficulties such as greater dissatisfaction with body image and diminished self-esteem. Recent research suggests around 45% of people who are obese use food as a means of managing their emotions. (Buckroyd, J. & Rother, S. (2008) 'Psychological Group Treatment for Obese Women' in Buckroyd J. & Rother S. (Eds) Psychological Responses to Eating Disorders and Obesity: Recent and Innovative Work, Chichester, Wiley & Sons, 103-119.)
You have learned to do the stuff you do and continue to do it because at some point it has achieved the desired results. Feeding someone, treating them with little sweet titbits is love. Physiologically we desire high calorie foods, evolution wise eating high calories was a successful survival strategy and thats why that stuff tastes good, the way we're built means that anything promoting survival of the individual or the species is a pleasant thing to do. We know food like chocolate affects the brain chemicals in a completely different way to sprouts.
So when you feel like you are struggling with weighty issues, and the whys and the how to stop it are proving elusive perhaps a talking therapy can improve your success most importantly in the long term.
Stress in all its shapes and forms whilst sometimes appropriate can have a major physical and mental health impact. Being overweight is stress on top of stress and has a direct influence on slowing down digestion and therefore the ability to lose weight.
When it feels like you are fighting a losing battle and every day you have to summon the motivation to continually deny yourself the stuff you really want. Or you yoyo yearly strugglingly determined to reach a target weight then temporarily feeling euphoric before slowly gaining back each valiantly lost pound. And as the old habits reemerge to take you down deeper than before it is horribly stressful.
A study published 2 days ago concludes that:
Stress can be dramatically reduced from just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation
Stress reduction from just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation - Medical News Today
Mindfulness is one of the elements of my approach to weight management. Simple, Elegant & Successful