Losing Weight … It’s All in Your Head!
by Richard Marano, B.S., C.H.
Okay … so, to be sure, it’s on your plate, as well. But we’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Truer words were never spoken. Here’s the really good news … You are what you eat, drink and THINK! So choose carefully.
In my hypnotherapy practice, I am daily reminded of the power of the subconscious mind. Let’s first understand a significant difference between the conscious mind (CM) and the subconscious mind (SCM). The CM is the much smaller part of the working brain, does all the judging, analyzing and criticizing. All the stuff you and I are doing right now. We make conscious decisions. Up down, right left, yes no, this and that. This primarily helps keep us safe and fulfills our two most basic primal messages: stay alive and make more of ourselves.
By comparison, the SCM, always working and below the level of awareness, is vast in its responsibilities and capabilities. Here’s the difference: it does not judge or analyze or criticize its programming. We program our SCM one way and one way only — with our thoughts. A little more specifically, you could say with our beliefs and expectations. After quickly comparing our thought, with past knowledge, experiences and beliefs, it accepts or rejects it and then influences us accordingly.
To bring clarity to this model, I’ll use the following example. When I ask a client how he or she is going to lose the weight, meaning what challenges does he or she wish to conquer, I often hear “help get me off sweets! I am a slave to sweets. No matter what the circumstance, I lose the battle.” Okay, so this is what the person has been telling themselves and over and over, I might add. The SCM picks this up and compares it to existing beliefs and expectations and says, “okay … we will indeed typically lose the battle in an encounter with sweets.” Now, let’s say that person was to have a huge lunch, just stuff themselves … maybe even enjoy a piece of pie as well. They return to work and immediately go to a meeting where they have cookies set out. What is this person going to do? More than likely they are going to nibble on the cookies.
To be even clearer, what if that person gave me a completely different answer? What if, instead, he or she said, “help me with chips and salty foods. That’s my weakness.” So, they have lunch and go off to the meeting with the cookies. Do they eat the cookies? Maybe. Maybe not. But if there were chips available, they would most likely partake of the chips. That’s where we get the expression “we are what we think we are”. Yes, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
While in a pleasant hypnotic trance, we bypass the Critical Factor and the new information, such as “I no longer feel controlled by a craving for sweets”. This is then allowed in and becomes the new normal. THIS is now who you are and how you typically respond to sweets.
How can you accomplish this with your various challenges with your eating and drinking patterns? Ever hear the phrase “fake it till you make it” or “fake it till you feel it”? You simply pay attention to your thoughts. In the above example, never say to anyone, especially yourself, negative or self-defeating statements like “I have no will power when I am near sweets”. You simply tell yourself with a complete sense of believability “I don’t have to constantly eat sweets … I don’t have to always do anything. I am in control.” Fake it till you feel it! As Dr. Richard Carlson, a leading stress consultant and author is fond of saying “don’t argue for your limitations or they are yours!”
The words I use with my weight management clients, or stress management or pain management, etc. is “design yourself!” Be clear on what you want … Know that you are worthy of the positive change … Know that you are capable of the change … Act in ways to support your goals … Expect the positive outcome … EXPECTATION is the key … Focus only on the positive benefits of the change and enjoy yourself!
Richard Marano is an NGH Certified Hypnotherapist at the Hypnosis Center of Eau Claire. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Health & P.E. from the University of Wisconsin, graduated from the Liedecker Institute of Hypnosis in Chicago, the Banyan International Center for Hypnotherapists in St. Paul and earned his certification in pain management from the Tennessee Academy of Clinical Hypnosis in Knoxville.