Is it time to stop dieting and take control of your weight?
Would you like to lose weight? Are you someone who vows to diet and yet never gets around to it? Perhaps you are someone who starts well and then falls at the first hurdle or maybe you’ve been on countless diets only to lose the weight and then put the pounds back on again.
Whatever your story, taking control of your weight can be a much broader issue than simply embarking on a strict regime of diet and exercise.
Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy is a fantastic tool that can help you to change the way you think and act. If you want to make healthy lifestyle choices, you need to be able to make decisions based on rational thought. In the very first session, you will learn fascinating insights into how the brain works and gain a better understanding of which part of the brain is in control when we make choices concerning diet and exercise. Subsequent sessions will help you to strengthen the rational, intellectual part of the brain that is the leader in making healthy choices for a better lifestyle.
When our brain is in tip-top condition and working at its optimum level, we will think what we want to think and (within reason) do what we want to do; and that includes eating the way we want to eat and moving as much as we want to move.
However, when our brain is battered by negative factors, such as worry, stress, low self-esteem and/or exhaustion, we tend to move away from the rational, intellectual control mind and move towards our primitive, emotional, reptilian brain. It is this part of the brain that houses that little voice that can fool us into believing that food is the answer to all of our problems and that it will, in some way, soothe away our troubles. Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy can help you to minimise the extent to which this part of the brain influences your food choices and eating habits.
Comfort eating can be the primitive brain’s way of tricking us into using food to numb emotions and to cope with stress and yet this negative behaviour pattern can actually cause us stress, often leading us to seek solace in the form of comfort eating once more. These repeated, negative behaviours are habit forming and we can establish unhealthy rituals whereby if we are stressed we numb ourselves with highly calorific food treats, such as chocolate, or if we have had a tough day we use food as a reward for our efforts.
But there is more. When we are stressed for prolonged periods, we are more prone to release chemicals that make us more inclined to reach for sugary, fatty foods. The struggle to control our eating, leading to weight gain, embeds itself as one of the factors in life that stresses us out and adds to a vicious cycle that we can become trapped in. Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy sessions can help you to break that cycle and lead you towards taking back ultimate control.
The primitive, reptilian brain has a tendency to come up with excuses as to why we are overweight and as to why we can’t shed the excess pounds. It will also come up with excuses as to why we ‘need’ certain foods and reasons for not moving or exercising more. Familiar primitive brain phrases might start with ‘There is no point starting until…’, ‘I can’t help being overweight because…’ ‘I have tried that, but…’, ‘I need to eat chocolate because…’ Sound familiar? Learn how to recognise and combat the power of these self-sabotaging, self-limiting beliefs with the help of Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy.
An additional issue is the fact that we live in a society whereby we are increasingly programmed to expect fast results and quick wins. When weight loss takes time, we sense failure and give up. We can even get to a point where we won’t even attempt to lose weight for fear of failure or certain doom: such is the power of our primitive, reptilian brain.
A great way to start your journey towards losing a few pounds and feeling better about yourself is not to ‘diet’. Sound absurd? Well, in Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy, there is a well respected theory that when we focus on what we believe to be ‘the’ problem, we attract more of the same and so when our sole focus becomes restricting our food intake, we become obsessed with what we can or cannot eat. We find ourselves endlessly thinking about food and mentally beating ourselves up when we ‘cheat’ or have a ‘bad’ day. These negative emotions cause a spike in our stress levels, leading us to release hormones that can lead us back to craving sugary, fatty foods. And so a vicious cycle forms.
Why not try this more solution-focused approach instead: focus on the life you want to lead, including the many gains you would like to make. Perhaps, in addition to shedding a few pounds, you would like more energy, clearer skin, elevated self-esteem and a stronger immune system. If so, they are positive goals to move towards. Congratulate yourself for what you achieve rather than focusing on what you perceive to be as ‘failures’.
One great step towards taking control of what we eat is to start emptying what we solution-focused hypnotherapists call our ‘stress bucket’. The ‘stress bucket’ is a place where we store all negative and challenging thoughts, beliefs, experiences and emotions that can draw us into negative behaviour patterns, such as seeing food as a reward or a comfort. To empty our metaphorical ‘bucket’, we need to start focusing on positive thoughts, actions and interactions. A step towards achieving this could be to start writing down three things that have been good about each day, every day, and making sure that you get 7 – 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.
When your stress levels are under control, you will be able to start making rational choices about how you want to live your life and that will include the decisions you make about the type and quantity of food you consume.
It is time to be kind to yourself, but also to be honest. Recognise that there is no magic wand. It is about you taking positive action to enable you to take back control of your intellectual mind. It is this part of the brain that makes sound decisions that are the right ones for you and it is also the part of the brain that helps you to put your foot down on the primitive, emotional brain that is like a manipulative small child. It is time to show the primitive brain who’s boss and a solution-focused therapist can help you to do this.
This is a time of great opportunity. Here awaits the opportunity to create new habits, to explore new ways of thinking, acting and interacting. Start slowly and allow new habits to form gradually so that they embed themselves fully as a new way of living.
The possible outcome? To become the best ever version of yourself. Avoid comparisons with others; this is about you.
Why not start now, by visualising yourself looking happy, healthy, revitalised and and in control of you and of your life. What will be your first small step towards manifesting the new you?
Sonia Chamulewicz is a qualified Solution-Focused Hypnotherapist. She can help you to get your brain in tip-top condition so that you can start taking back control of what you think and do, including helping you to lead a healthier lifestyle. Contact her via her website: https://www.hypnotherapywilthire.co.uk or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further reading: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200311/stress-and-eating