As the number of obese people in the World continues to grow, we need to start to deal with the obesity problem effectively. More and more people are resorting to drastic measures in an attempt to resolve their weight gain. Gastric bands are becoming more widely available, but does it really get to the heart of the matter?
Working as I do, with individuals and groups of people who have issues around their weight and body image, I believe that taking drastic measures and opting for surgery, doesn’t really deal with the underlying issues. It’s true that a lot of people lose a large amount of weight after surgery and are able to adapt their eating habits, but others struggle. Some, unable to adhere to dietary recommendations, liquidize food that is high in calorific value, so that they can continue to eat the foods they ‘crave’, leading inevitably to weight gain.
So why would someone go through invasive surgery and then ignore the specialists recommendations? Based on my experience as a Practitioner, I believe it’s to do with deprivation. No one wants to be ‘deprived’, that’s why diets don’t really work in the long term: after a while the ‘dieter’ wants some sort of ‘reward’ or a part of them feels the need to ‘rebel’ and then ‘sabotages’ their plans.
Also the thought of change can be scary for people. It’s much easier to feel safe and opt for familiarity and have a little moan from time to time, than to actually change habits forever; after all, ‘better the devil you know!’
The thing about food is that it has so many associations for us. Babies are comforted with food from the minute they are born. As our children grow up they are given ‘treats’ for being ‘good’. When they’re upset or complaining something is thrust in their mouth in an attempt to ‘shut them up’. When they fall over and hurt themselves a sweet takes some of the pain away. Food can be used as a punishment too. “No you can’t have that, you don’t deserve it!” Is it any wonder food means so much to us and we don’t want to go without?!
Add availability to the equation and we’re in big trouble. The fact is that most of us hardly need leave our seat to feed ourselves. Even though it’s widely known that an individual needs to burn off more calories than they consume people still say they “can’t lose weight”; they’ve “tried everything!”
When we are hungry, it can feel uncomfortable for us: we can feel empty, physically and emotionally. Food is a fantastic way to anaesthetize any unpleasant feelings and ‘comfort’ ourselves. Some people prefer to smoke instead, or drink, gamble, or use the internet compulsively. Even obsessive exercise or working too hard, which might seem a commendable thing, can be just another way of avoiding something; usually our feelings. People who overeat often don’t even allow themselves to feel hungry, it’s just too unpleasant.
Physical and mental trauma can stay locked in our bodies, usually manifesting as pain or illness. Overeating can temporarily distract us from any pain, unwanted feelings or unhappy memories, but only as long as we are getting our ‘food fix’. It’s a vicious cycle, there seems to be no way out. Like it or not, our unconscious, is programmed to do the same thing, again and again, just like a computer. If it’s programmed to overeat that’s exactly what it will do! So is there a way out? Yes, change the software! By that I mean talk directly to the unconscious mind and suggest new ways of doing things, find different ways to meet our needs and deal with the core of the problem rather than skimming over the surface. Hypnotherapy can really benefit someone who is interested in letting go of old patterns of behaviour that are no longer useful, enabling them to move forward and adopt more empowering habits. EFT is another wonderful tool. It’s simple, safe and easy to learn and the beauty of the technique is that it’s literally at your fingertips anytime of the day or night.
Once someone is willing to acknowledge their existing eating behaviour they can then choose whether or not they want to do something about it. I believe we all have our own answers, so rather than fighting with your inner mind, work with it to feel really good about who you are.
Speak soon ……