Partnership for a Healthful Diet

by | Oct 4, 2021 | Case History | 0 comments

Weight control is considered among the most demanding applications of hypnotherapy. Nutrition and portion sizes are established in childhood while the body is growing and frequently engaged in exercise. In adulthood, workplaces are designed for efficiency, and movement is minimized. Competition is redirected into mental activity, leading us to prefer foods that meet the needs of the brain. The rest of the body suffers from inactivity, malnutrition, and stress, all contributing to poor sleep. Particularly when the deepest cycles of restorative sleep are lost (a side-effect of many sleep aids), the brain accumulates toxins, undermining the higher thought processes including self-control. Poor choices eventually lead to lowered self-esteem.

And then the difficulty: because weight control takes time, the client doesn’t see an immediate impact.

At Hypnosis Rising, weight control tackles all these factors: sleep, exercise, self-control, and self-esteem. Intermediate goals are used to sustain effort and build self-esteem.

The client in this case was planning an upcoming retirement from her private practice in the financial sector. She had managed to bring her weight within 15 pounds of her target but found that she could not avoid sweets after dinner. Calling herself a “little piggy,” she sought aversion therapy to eliminate them from her diet.

In consultation, all the weight control factors were revealed. Lifelong exercise routines had been upended by a health crisis. Poor sleep was reported, and her planned retirement placed at risk her commitment to support other family members. A tragic loss in the family also weighed on her.

Rather than aversion therapy, I counseled that her body felt deeply the costs of poor nutrition, but that her mind – for pleasure and metabolism – had ignored those messages. Rather than aversion therapy, the gut should be enrolled as a counselor to guide her in her dietary choices. The pattern is to ask, before every meal, “what should we have now?”

Regarding exercise, we identified gentle activities that could be undertaken to prepare for new routines. The client was counseled to undertake these during times of peak alertness, establishing the importance of the change and ensuring that the body could gauge the demands of each activity.

These compacts would be made with the adult self, whose virtues would be turned inward to support change. Negative self-talk when looking at the mirror was to be repressed, the be replaced by a gentle encouragement. “Do you think that we could smooth away the folds around the belly?”

In the first session, these compacts were cemented in trance, including suggestions that in dreams the subconscious would work to integrate the new experiences. The client was given my “Sleep for Success” recording.

In the second session, the client reported immediate improvements in sleep. She had done some walking during the day. Unfortunately, her consumption of sweets had increased. The compacts were reinforced, with the client attaining a deep trance.

The subsequent two sessions were cancelled, first due to a scheduling conflict and then due to a flare-up of diverticulitis. Client spoke of surgery and was not receptive to somatic counseling. Regardless of her decision, I reminded her that a compact to consult the gut had been made at the deepest levels of the personality. At the very least, she should talk to it, asking it “What are you trying to tell me?”

Upon the follow-up call a week later, client shared this story: she had taken the habit of buying only what the gut wanted – allowing the brain only of a pack of small ice cream sandwiches, 50 calories each. Thinking “maybe I can allow this,” she had one that evening. The next morning, she looked in the freezer and thought “I don’t need these,” and gave them away. Saying “You have taught me so much, Brian. I have tried so many things, and this is the only one that has ever worked.” Further sessions were postponed pending realization of her new commitments to herself.


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