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PERSONAL EXPERIENCES: Positive Eating and Body Image

"Karen" had struggled with a weight problem ever since the birth of her children. Prior to that she had been a fairly active person, and never thought much about what she ate or what she weighed. She had gained some weight that she never lost after her childrens’ birth and had continued to put on a few pounds every year, until she told me she was now 40 pounds over what was a healthy weight for her.

Karen found herself craving sweets every afternoon around 3 pm when she headed for the candy machine at work. She said she nibbled a lot as she prepared dinner and ate much more than she needed at dinnertime. She usually grabbed coffee and a sweet for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch. Most importantly, she recognized that she was missing any significant form of physical activity in her life.

In the first session I taught her EFT. She found it extremely effective, and I talked about the importance of using it regularly – both when cravings arose and to prevent them. She recognized her "addiction" to sweets as a big part of her weight problem and made a commitment to herself to use EFT to help reduce or eliminate her need for sweets.

In the first session, her taped hypnotherapy session focused on self-esteem and building desire for healthy foods that created a physical and mental balance. She used EFT and listened to her tape daily until our next meeting 10 days later.

She reported feeling much better about her food choices, now. She had had no afternoon sweets, and had begun to eat a substantial breakfast that included protein. She ate a moderate lunch and snacked on fruit or vegetables in the afternoon and was only comfortably hungry (not starving) when dinnertime rolled around. She used EFT to deal with cravings, or unexpected surprises such as co-workers who brought cookies or pastries in to share. She was able to avoid them almost completely. Although she had not lost any weight yet, she felt healthier, more balanced, and very hopeful about making the changes needed to lose weight.

Subsequent sessions focused on exercise, helping her to recall the joy she had previously experienced through physical activity. They focused on self-love and a positive, encouraging attitude about her ability to make and stick with the changes.

Over the course of 10 months, Karen participated in 12 hypnotherapy sessions. She lost 30 pounds. Although this was not her original goal, when she reached this goal, she felt good in her body. She felt strong, fit, and lean, and realized that her previous goal of losing 40 pounds had not been right for her at this time of her life.

She said, "It took more effort on my part than I thought it would, and wasn’t quite the magic bullet I thought it would be. However, in other ways, the changes I experienced went deeper than I had expected. I feel more relaxed and confident about myself. I feel I have made changes from the inside out, and that those changes will stick. I also feel that I have gained so much in other areas of my life. I am calmer when things go wrong. I just take a deep breath and use a 30-second relaxation technique that does wonders for my perspective. I have learned how to communicate with my subconscious mind, which has helped me with accomplishing goals in other areas of my life. I love my hypnosis tapes and will probably continue to listen to them even though I’ve met my goals. I would highly recommend hypnotherapy to anyone who wants to learn a new approach to weight loss that is gentle and loving."

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