HYPNOSIS FOR WEIGHT CONTROL
CHAPLAIN PAUL G. DURBIN, Ph.D.
(1) Deeann's Case History:
(2) Weight Control #1:
(3) Country Road/Heavy Backpack:
(4) Taking Off Layers:
(5) Selective Eating:
(6) Handle For Weight Control:
(7) Shrinking Stomach:
After introduction and same general talk about weight control, I ask, "How many times have you gone on a diet to reduce and suffered until you finally gave up without reaching your goal?" After client's answer, I say, "Perhaps you reached your goal only to gain back all that weight and added a few more pounds. Through hypnosis and self hypnosis there is help and hope."
As with any new client, I go over what hypnosis is and is not, how hypnosis helps a person to reduce and maintain their desired weight. I explain that hypnosis is not magic that can be applied with a few words of hocus-pocus and the weight magically disappears. Even with hypnosis, changing your eating habits requires some effort on the client's part. I require at least three sessions for weight control. Of course, the client may have more if they feel that it is needed. The reasons for the three sessions to help the client maintain motivation, change eating habits, and change how they emotionally react to eating.
I require a physicians consult for weight control so that client can get proper information on appropriate foods. I do not recommend a diet, but suggest that the client select foods that will help him/her reach their goal and reject foods that would prevent them from reaching their goal. I ask the client to weigh no more than once a week, same day of week and same time.
I request that the client decide on a reasonable weight goal. I ask when was the last time you were at that weight? Do you have pictures of yourself at the desired weight? If yes, I asked the client to put one picture on the mirror where they dress each day, one on the refrigerator door, and one on the food cabinet door to remind him/her of what they have been and can be.
I talk to the client about the power of imagination and their self-image. In the past, you have come to think of yourself as heavy, overweight, and perhaps unattractive. Changing the way you think about yourself is as important as changing your eating habits. Take time each day to imagine yourself at your ideal weight. You may picture yourself before a mirror and enjoying the reflection of yourself at our desired weight. A good time to do this is just before you go to sleep each night and upon waking in the morning.
We consciously know that the beliefs which were valid for us as a child are not necessarily valid for us as an adult. But their "common sense" evaluation does not occur at the subconscious level. What was true to the subconscious yesterday is true today and will be true in the future unless we intervene to change such subconscious "truths."
For instance, a child is not eating very much food at meals. Mother and/or father says, "Now, you have to eat so that you can grow up to be a big girl/boy." If the subconscious accepts that statement from the parent, their mind may think, "I have to be big to be grown
up." If a person accepts the statement with that understanding they will probably grow up to be overweight.
The first six or seven years of my life, I was skinny and sickly. At about the age of six or seven years old, I began to eat more, put on weight, and was very seldom sick. My parents and sister praised me for eating. Eating came to mean for me: praise, reward, acceptance, love.
Those same principles are at work for many who are overweight. Though consciously the individual wants to be at the right weight for their height, he/she continues to over eat and stay fat. Perhaps their mother said,. "If you are good, you may have an extra desert." "Be sure to eat all the food on your plate, remember the starving children from..." Food comes to mean far more than nourishment. It means being loved, cared for, accepted, and rewarded.
A hypnotherapist friend of mine told me the story of a woman who came to him for weight control. She had gained 50 pounds in less than a year. After a few sessions, this story came out. She was a very religious person who was an airline stewardess. Before a flight, she and her husband had a big argument. She left the house mad and upset to go on a scheduled overseas flight. During her trip, she had an affair with one of the crew members. She felt guilty about having sex with someone other than her husband because it was against her religious belief. Her subconscious said, "I will take care of you. If you are overweight, you will not be attractive and therefore you will not be tempted to be unfaithful." With the help of her therapist, she was able to experience and accept God's forgiveness and forgive herself. With forgiveness, she was released from her need to be overweight. In less than a year, she was back to her normal weight.
(1) Deeann's Case History: Deeann came to me weighing 150 pounds. What is your desired weight? "125." During the counseling session, she told me that her husband had left her two years ago and she had gained 25 pounds since he left her. She wanted to exercise more often and eat more properly. After some finger response questions, it was determined that her weight gain was due to the stress of her divorce and she pampered herself by overeating. Her suggestibility exercises indicated that she was high in the area of direct suggestibility. She ate two meals a day with candy in between. She sometimes ate lunch but her two main meals were breakfast and dinner. With that we begin her first hypnosis session.
(2) Weight Control #1: I want you to use your imagination. Imagine that you are looking at your reflection in a mirror. Imagine yourself the size you want to be. Enjoy the experience, feel good about yourself and realize this can be you. See yourself stepping on the weight scale and weighing 125 pounds. Imagine what you want to happen so that your subconscious mind has a model to work with.
(3) Country Road/Heavy Backpack: As you relax peacefully and calmly, imagine yourself walking down a beautiful country road. To the left of the country road is a field of beautiful flowers of various colors, sizes, and shapes. If the wind is blowing just right, you can smell the fragrance of the flowers.
Beyond the flowers is a forest of majestic trees. To the right of the road is a pasture of green grass, at the foot of the pasture is a lake of blue clear water. By the lake of blue clear water are some trees, there is a stream that flows form the hill in front of you, down by the trees into the lake of blue clear water.
There is only one thing wrong with this beautiful scene. On your back is a heavy backpack. There is nothing in that backpack which you need for your journey. In fact, the backpack contains all of the conscious and subconscious reasons why you overeat, why you eat fattening foods, why you have trouble controlling our weight.
I can't remove that backpack from your back, but you can. You can be free of the heavy backpack. It is a decision for you to make. Attached to each of your fingers is a trigger mechanism which will release the backpack. If one of your fingers rises, you will release the feedback and be released from the conscious and subconscious reason why you are overweight, one of your fingers will feel very, very light, so light that it floats upwards. When the finger rises, the backpack automatically falls from your back. Now just allow one of your fingers to rise. It may be the first finger on your right hand or the first finger on your left hand, it could be the second or third, or your little finger, or it could even be the thumb. By lifting a finger, you are symbolically letting go. That is good. Your first finger of your right hand is floating up. The backpack is gone. You feel free and comfortable. As the heavy weight of the backpack is gone, you feel a great relief. You are now free of the conscious and subconscious need to be overweight.
Now that your subconscious mind is working for you, your natural body processes are eliminating unneeded and unwanted body fat through the natural processes of your elimination system. (Repeat...repeat...repeat...) Your confidence is increasing as you realize that you are achieving your goal of getting your body weight down to 125 pounds. (Repeat...repeat...repeat...)
Repeat to yourself several times, "I avoid those foods which I know are fattening." And then repeat several times, "I deserve those foods which I know helps me meet my goal." About 10 minutes before a meal, drink a large glass of water. This helps you feel full and satisfied and you are eating less food. Imagine yourself at a meal. You choose and desire those foods which helps you reach your goal of 125 pounds and you refuse those foods that block your goal. Imagine picking up a fork, taking a bite of food, putting the fork down. Chew and enjoy and enjoy and chew. Get full benefit from each bite.
Visualize people complimenting you on your weight and size. As you do this each day, you reduce to 125 and you notice the improvement. This causes your confidence to keep increasing because you know you are getting your weight down to 125 pounds. As you reduce down to 125 pounds you increase your feeling of self-worth and you like yourself better. Whenever you have a desire for extra food, you can take a deep breath, imagine yourself at 125 pounds and as you exhale, the desire for that food leaves your mind as the air is breathed out. You feel calm and relaxed.
(4) Taking Off Layers: There was a young woman who lived in a very cold part of the world. It was always winter and it was always cold. The land was barren and frozen. She lived by herself and always seemed to be cold. She had a fireplace in her house, but she found it difficult to find enough wood to keep the house warm.
All of the other people in the area had moved away and she felt lonely and sad. One day there was a knock on her door. She opened the door just a crack, trying to keep the cold wind from blowing in. She peeked through the crack and asked, "Who is there?"
A woman responded, "I'm here to notify you that everyone is being evacuated from this place. You must come with me." The young woman protested, "I can't leave my house. I have nowhere to go." the stranger assured her that they would provide her with a place to live. Fearfully, she waddled out and they started walking on a long journey.
"Where are you taking me and what will I do?" she asked, "Just trust me. I'm taking you where you will be warm and happy." But she was still fearful. They followed a path through desolate wastelands. When they had walked for several days, she noticed the landscape was changing.
She saw some shrubs and they had leaves. As they continued she began to notice some trees with leaves. One day, as they walked, she could feel moisture trickling over her body. She asked the stranger what the moisture was. The stranger told her it was sweat and told her to take off two layers of clothes. She followed the guide's suggestions and felt more comfortable, much lighter, more free, and she could walk more easily.
Each day she experienced greater delight as to how she felt. The sun was shining more, the sky was beautifully blue and she noticed that she was enjoying things that she had never noticed before. As she became warmer, she took off another layer of clothes. She felt much better and much lighter. She was able to walk faster, breathe easier, and she felt much better.
One day they arrived in a land of beautiful gardens with a beautiful lake. As she looked into the water and saw her reflection, she was pleased to notice her true self. With all but one layer of clothes gone, she saw that she was quite attractive.
She saw herself as beautiful, she felt joyful and full of energy. She felt like dancing and singing. Each day she kept feeling more free, healthier and more energetic. Her slenderness delighted her. She met other people and they told her she looked very nice. She was accepted and felt that she was part of the community.
Symbolically you are realizing that this can be your story as you get rid of layers and layers of unneeded and unwanted body fat. Everyday your self confidence keeps increasing, your joy and happiness keeps becoming more enjoyable. Keep the image of yourself the size you want to be in your mind, eat properly, exercise appropriately, and your subconscious mind helps you reach your goal.
You reduce to 125 pounds because you look better with a slimmer body... You reduce to 125 pounds because it improves your health and because it helps you to live longer...Your reduce to 125 pounds because it helps you develop a more mature, more relaxed, more confident personality...You reduce to 125 pounds because it gives you the confidence to conquer any other challenging problems you face in life...You reduce to 125 pounds because it helps you to be an inspiration to other people who see what you have accomplished...You reduce to 125 pounds because it makes your life more enjoyable...Count out of hypnosis with helpful suggestions between each number.
During the second session, I ask these "yes" and "no" questions. Do you eat when you are hungry? "Yes." Nervous? "Yes." Bored? "Yes" Stress? "Yes." Very active" "No." Happy? "Yes." Lonely? "No." Frustrated? "No." ...Do you eat too much or snack while watching TV? "Yes." In groups? "Yes." While reading? "No." Drinking Coffee? "Yes."
During breaks? "Yes." Between work and home? "No." At sports events? "Yes." At social events? "Yes." At business luncheons? "Yes." In bed? "No."...Do you treat yourself to a snack or meal whenever you need love? "Yes." Reward? "Yes." Companionship? "No." Something to do? "No." A change in your activity? "No." To compensate for something unpleasant "Yes." To relax? "Yes." To feel more important? "No." To feel secure? "No." In place of sexual attention? "Yes."
(5) Selective Eating: You have a tiny gland in your brain called the appestat gland, and the purpose of that gland is to let you know when your body needs food...and when your body has had the right amount needed to keep you healthy and slender.
That gland is capable of functioning properly and is now being rejuvenated so it is functioning properly...From now on you eat only when your body needs food, and are very selective in the food you eat. That part of your mind that controls the processes of your body understands that the purpose of eating food is to provide the nourishment needed to keep your body healthy and strong...therefore, you select only those foods that are beneficial for your body...and you are perfectly content and completely satisfied with only the small amount your body needs to continue becoming healthier and remain slim and trim at the level of 125 pounds.
About ten minutes before eating you can drink a glass of water because water helps your food to digest properly. Water is also beneficial in many other ways. It aids your elimination system in functioning properly to cleanse waste products and waste materials out of your body in an easy, natural way...Water keeps your kidneys healthy and helps keep your urination system clean. And you can enjoy drinking lots of water.
I want you to use your imagination now...Imagine a very nice meal set out in front of you...You are dining with several close friends, and the hostess has prepared a beautiful, delicious looking meal. Look at it and notice how good it looks...Smell it and notice the pleasant fragrance of the food. You are looking it over and becoming aware of the small portions you can select that can benefit your body and be sufficient to take care of the needs of nourishment for your body. Now you put a small portion of those foods that are beneficial for your body on your plate, being very selective, because you eat only the right foods for your body... You now pick up your fork, and knife, if you need your knife, and you select the best-looking bite; remembering that the first bit is the best and most tasty because your taste buds are fresh. You put that small bite into your mouth and put your knife and fork down...You are chewing that bite thoroughly, really enjoying the delicious flavor of the food. Taking your time, noticing the texture, and continuing to chew the food until all the pleasurable flavor is gone, and then you swallow. You had put down your knife and fork, because you are taking your time, and now before picking it up, you take a sip of water, or tea or whatever else you are drinking with your meal. And you continue on through the entire meal, taking your time, chewing your food thoroughly and eating only until you feel satisfied and comfortable., As soon as you have eaten the small amount needed by your body, you stop, and you are satisfied. That's the way you want it to be from now on, and your inner mind is cooperating, so that's the way it can be from now on.
You eat only when your body needs food, and you eat only the small amount needed by your body at that time. When you have eaten the amount that is right to continue reducing your body and keep your body slim and trim, your are content and satisfied until your body needs food again.
You are developing the habit and pattern of eating when you are hungry, and being very selective of the foods you eat, being sure to eat only foods that are right for your body...
As she had expressed her grief about the divorce during the counseling session, I used "The Turning Point" healing story. (Refer to Mr. Wilder's case history in Chapter 2.)
(6) Handle For Weight Control: You may recall that the refrigerator door has a handle on it and so does the door to the food closet. Those handles can, of course, be an aid to opening those doors. The handles can also be an aid in closing the doors, but they can serve another purpose. The handle on the refrigerator door and the handle on the food closet door can be reminders to you that you have a handle on your appetite. There are times during the day when you know that opening the door to the refrigerator or food closet is appropriate when you are preparing for your regular meals...But during the rest of the day those door handles can represent to you an opportunity to get a better handle on yourself. You can take a look at the door handles, pause, take a deep breath to relax and imagine yourself at 125 pounds and that you have a handle of your appetite. That's right, those handles can be a constant reminder of your own control, your own handle on your goals. With that reminder, you feel good about yourself...(I concluded with a self-confidence script.)
When Deann came in for her third session, she was very pleased with herself. In the last three weeks, she had released eight pounds. (I am attempting to drop the word, "Lose" from my weight control program because there is a tendency to attempt to find that which is lost.)
(7) Shrinking Stomach: You are deeply relaxed and peaceful, and you can continue relaxing even more as I talk to you. You don't need to consciously listen to what I'm saying right now, because your subconscious mind, and all levels of your inner mind are receiving my words...and are enabling you to respond automatically. You can be pleased to find that the processes of your body are functioning properly, causing all excess cellulite and fat to dissolve and become a liquid, and is being cleansed out of your body through the normal, natural processes of your elimination system. You can also be happy to notice that you eat only small amounts of food...and you eat only when your body needs food. Your stomach is gradually shrinking down to the proper size to reduce your body to 125 pounds. It is normal and natural for you to eat only when your body needs food...and eat only the small amount your body needs to continue becoming healthier and more slender, exactly the way you consciously want your body to be.
Your self-confidence and self-acceptance keeps increasing more each day...Your willpower and self-control continue becoming stronger...and without any conscious effort by you...your stomach is shrinking down to the proper size to hold only the right amount of food to keep your normal, natural, 125 pound body healthy and strong. When your body needs food, you eat only the small amount needed by your body at the time...and when you have eaten what you body needs, you feel content, happy, and perfectly satisfied.
I want you to hold your left arm out in front of you and tighten the muscles to make your left arm stiff and rigid...clench your fist now and make the arm more rigid. Notice how strong and powerful it is. Feel the strong power in those muscles...Now, let your hand and arm relax...Very good. Your are responding good...Now I want you to do it again, and this time make the fist and arm stiffer and more rigid than you did the first time... Make it so stiff and rigid that you can feel it aching...Notice that it is aching as you continue making it more rigid... When you have it aching so that you don't like that feeling, let it relax...(Pause) I want to explain something now that your mind is understanding. You make your left arm rigid and stiff two times. The actions to do that were the same each time. But the first time you did not feel any pain, because we did not sent a message to your mind for you to experience pain, but the second time as you made the arm stiff, we also sent the massage for you to experience an aching feeling. Actually it is all a matter of the way you mind interprets the signal it receives...
Just as easily your stomach can send a signal to your mind, and it can happen when your stomach muscles are being stretched...You are learning to respond to the normal feelings of your stomach...When your body needs food, your stomach lets you know by causing you to feel hungry... When you have the hunger feeling you know it is time to eat some food to provide the proper nutrition needed by your body at that time. Then, as soon as you have eaten the proper amount needed at that time, you feel satisfied because the hunger feelings are gone until your body needs food again...You eat only when your stomach lets you know your body needs food...and you eat only the small amount needed by your body at that time. When you have eaten what your body needs at that time, you are content and satisfied, knowing your stomach lets you know when your body needs food again...Your stomach is shrinking because your body is reducing and you continue needing a smaller amount of food...You are happy to notice that your entire body is becoming more slender, trimmer, and perfectly proportioned...the way you consciously want it to be.
Your body is getting thinner, trimmer, and more slender, and this is just inspiring to you. It gives you a good feeling. And the fact that your stomach is shrinking just enough to reduce your body to 125 pounds and keep your body at the level of 125 pounds causes you to feel very confident and happy.
(If there seems to be a block to reducing, I recommend "Hand to Face for Therapy" for releasing any conscious or subconscious cause, contributions to or obstacles reaching you goal. If hand does not touch face go to "Therapy Between Sessions")