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Co-dependence and Weight Loss Client

I see a lot of clients for weight loss, especially for the gastric band program which is four sessions of hypnotherapy, preferable held once a week. I saw a lovely lady for the hypnoband program a while ago, she wanted to take off 25 kilos. At her first session she told me that she felt uncomfortable being overweight.

She ran a hobby farm in the country and wanted to lose weight because she wanted to learn to ride her horse, so she could round up the cattle on her property. Her clothes were all getting to tight and she was also worried about her future health, some of her family members had heart conditions and she didn’t want to end up like them. Her mother and sisters were also very over weight.

She told me she had been neglecting herself over the years, especially since the surgery on her knee, putting on a lot of weight since then. She was eating a lot of junk food, but she also had a problem with alcohol, drinking up to six beers or a full bottle of wine every night. She felt she had no identity, she felt lost and out of touch with her own needs and desires.

Once I began to ask her about her life, it became apparent what was behind her problems. During her early childhood her father was a violent drug addict and alcoholic, abusing her and her mother many times. Her mother didn’t protect her from the father and she felt totally abandoned by both her parents.

Money was tight and food was scarce, mainly because her father spent money on drugs and alcohol. Leaving home at age 14, she lived on her own for a few years until meeting her husband. He turned out to be similar to her father, violent and controlling. As a child she had been closer to her grandmother, rather than her own mother. At age 14 she was walking to her grandmother’s house and she saw her grandmother driving her car out of the driveway and straight into an oncoming car. Her grandmother died instantly and my client never saw her grandmother again, and wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral, which prevented any closure.

This client began drinking alcohol as a coping skill to repress her feelings towards her husband, her painful traumatic childhood and the death of her grandmother. Because she had experienced severe childhood trauma, including physical and emotional abuse, it was no wonder she was using alcohol and food to repress her feelings.

She had also become co-dependent on her ex husband, feeling so depressed she couldn’t leave him, even though he regularly abused her. Eventually she got the courage and left him, and was now remarried to a lovely man, but her pain followed her as it does unless it is resolved internally.

People who are co-dependent are dependent on something outside of themselves in order to have an identity. Co-dependency is a disease and is fostered in unhealthy family systems. Everyone in an alcoholic family becomes co-dependent on the alcoholics drinking, because the drinking can be life threatening to each family member, they adapt by becoming chronically alert and hyper vigilant.

Over time people living with chronic distress lose touch with their own internal feelings, needs and desires. Children who grow up in a family of violence learn to focus solely on the outside and over time lose the ability to generate self esteem. Co-dependent behaviour indicates that the persons childhood needs were unmet and therefore they cannot know who they really are.

When a coping skill such as drinking alcohol or eating in excess is developed, especially early in life this coping behaviour eventually becomes a habit. A habit can be seen as a program that is operating in the subconscious mind. Habits are created because they have a purpose, often to help us to feel better in certain situations. In the case of my client, the behaviour of binge drinking and over eating was to repress her deep childhood pain.

When my client returned for her second Hypnotherapy session she was smiling as she proudly told me she hadn’t had any alcohol all week and she no longer felt the need to reward herself with alcohol or food. She had lost 2 kilos in two weeks and was feeling better than she had felt for a long time.

Disclaimer: (Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person).

Phobic Aversion to Eating Vegetables and Fruit.

Clinical Hypnotherapy Helps With Phobic Aversion to Eating Vegetable and Fruit

I recently saw a client in my Brisbane clinic who wanted to be able to enjoy eating fruit and vegetables. This young woman was in her early twenties and struggled daily to eat any type of vegetables or fruit. This phobia caused her to feel very self conscious when dinning out at social functions. Her health was also beginning to suffer from a lack of proper nutrition in her diet, and she was losing weight. 

During the pre talk I discovered that she had been traumatised by her father from her early childhood. He was extremely health conscious and controlling and had tried unsuccessfully to force her to eat vegetables many times. She had developed a phobic reaction to them and was unable to eat them at all because they caused her to gag. She had also lost confidence in herself, experiencing extreme low self esteem, and bouts of anxiety and depression. 

During the first session, using the skills I have developed over the years as a regression therapist I was totally able  change this phobia that was controlling her life. She realised while in hypnosis that at a very young age she was scared of her father and fearful of getting into trouble. Because of this fear she decided not to make any decisions at all, in her child’s mind it didn’t matter what she did, she got into trouble anyway. So she decided to sit on the fence, which actually meant this child part decided never to eat vegetables or fruit. We continued negotiating with this child part and once her subconscious mind fully understood the reasons behind the avoidance the shift was immediate. I then asked the child part if she wanted to eat the vegetables and she smiled as she said yes, she was ready to try them now.

After I brought her out of hypnosis I asked her how she felt about vegetables and fruit, she replied that she was looking forward to going home to try some. She was curious as to how they would taste.  

When she returned for her second session a week later, she seemed like a totally different person, her face lit up with a big smile as she told me she went home after the first session and ate some pumpkin and carrots with her dinner and since then she has been trying different foods and really enjoying them. 

After only one session this client had experienced such a profound change, and when she finished the four session program she felt confident that she was well on her way to better health. Her self confidence had also increased, the anxiety and depression had subsided. She was socialising more and planning a trip overseas, which was something she had been fearful of doing in the past.

In childhood, when we return to a coping skill over and over again the brain grows according to the stimulation it has received. This clients coping skill was avoidance behaviour, so that she wouldn’t get into trouble from her father. The combination of axon and dendrite growth and trained synaptic firings creates a physiological Resource State, a personality part with the intellectual and emotional traits that were used during its forming. Most pathologies can be healed by regressing to discover the cause. When this client ate food she reverted to her child resource state that had decided not to make a decision about vegetables one way or another for fear of getting into trouble and this lead to the habit of avoiding vegetables and fruit.

Disclaimer: (Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person).

Food Cravings Resolved

Resource Therapy Session for Weight Loss

With some of my weight loss clients I need to find out the cause of their cravings to change them permanently. This particular client craved snacks while watching television in the evenings. She described this craving as a feeling in her mouth that was looking for something sweet and crunchy to eat.

I asked her to tell me about the last time she felt the urge to eat when she wasn’t hungry and she told me she was sitting on the couch watching television feeling distracted because of a craving for food. I encouraged her to tune in to the feelings of being distracted and thinking of food and to tell me more about this.

She said her mind kept going away from the television show, and thinking of having something to eat. I asked to tell me what she felt when this happened and she said she felt frustrated.  She knew she wasn’t hungry and shouldn’t need to eat, or want anything but the thoughts keep distracting her.

After asking her again how she felt in her body, she said she felt fidgety and kept moving around in her chair, but she still didn’t know if this was because she wanted to eat something or if it was something else.

I asked her to tell me how this fidgety feeling felt and she said she didn’t feel settled.  I encouraged her to go even deeper into the fidgety unsettled feelings and she said that her mouth wants the food but her head is frustrated because part of her didn’t want to eat anything. She felt really frustrated because she knew she wasn’t hungry.

I guided her back to the time in her life where the restlessness in her body began, the feeling of needing and wanting something. 

Her story emerged slowly and began with her seeing an image of her dad in her mind, she described this image was like a picture in the air of her dad just before he was sick. She was about age 20 and told me they always had snacks in the house before dad got sick. Her mum liked something salty to eat while watching television and there would be packets of chips, biscuits or something else in the pantry. But when dad got sick they didn’t get them anymore because dad wasn’t allowed to eat those kinds of foods because of his heart condition.  It wasn’t hard not to have them back then because she wanted her dad to get well.

I guided her back further to another memory in her life to where she first began to eat the snacks while watching television.

She went back to age 10, her family had just moved to the city from the bush and she said there wasn’t any place to buy snacks when they lived in the bush, they hardly had them back then. Having snacks was like a special treat and it was easier to buy now they lived in the city because the shop was just around the corner to where they now lived. They could just walk to the corner shop after school, and she also had tuckshop at school which she didn’t have when they lived in the bush.

She felt excited and special to have the different foods available, like a treat she could have every day, but the city kids didn’t see it that way, to them it was normal to have all the many different foods available.  They had fresh iced finger buns and she could smell the fresh baked bread at the school tuck shop. Her parents let her have the different foods and they developed a habit of eating snacks in the evenings while watching television.

I asked her to tell me how she felt about having these new foods available whenever she wanted them.  I was surprised when she said she felt hungry and alone. She explained she didn’t think about other people when she ate, it was like she was only concentrating on the food and she wasn’t thinking about anything else.  I asked her if she felt the food distracted her from other things and she said yes it was like it was just her and the food. Like a treat that she might not get again so she concentrated and appreciated the food fully. She always liked trying new foods and new things, and viewed this as something special.

This is the childhood resource state that appreciated new things especially food when they lived in the bush and then moved to the city and I asked her what could I call this part of her that really appreciated food and trying new things. She decided on Appreciate and she said yes that it was okay for me to call this part of her Appreciate.

I began to speak with her adult self and asked the client to tell me about how she felt as an adult, about being healthy and slim and how she doesn’t want to eat all the unhealthy snacks any more.  She said this part of her that was the Wise part, because this was the part of her that had learnt a lot about nutrition over the years.

I asked the adult Wise part to speak to the child part which was aged about 10 and we called this part Appreciate, this is the part who loved to eat the snacks and to explain to Appreciate how as an adult she feels about eating the unhealthy foods.

As she began to speak to the child part called Appreciate, her voice changed and she became very emotional.  She told the child she didn’t need the food to remember dad, it’s not the same. The food isn’t a memory of dad. This was a big turning point for this client, she experienced an epiphany of what she was really trying to achieve by eating the snacks while watching television. Part of her was still grieving for her dad who had died of a heart attack a long time ago and the snacks were a subconscious habit developed over the years of growing up with her family.

Eating the food with her family was a way they all had felt connected as a family,  but when her dad had died she felt that something was missing, this was why she felt hungry and alone, she was trying to distract herself from feeling the grief and loss of her dad, this was like a hole inside of her and she was trying to fill it with food.

Now she realised consciously what her subconscious mind was trying to do, she could easily stop the habit. Her subconscious mind was trying to help her by causing her to think about eating, which lead her to eat when she wasn’t hungry. Her subconscious mind was trying to recreate the good feelings she experienced as a child with her family, especially her dad. 

I proceeded to facilitate spiritual grief therapy with this client and then I proceeded to ask her what other things she could appreciate in her life rather than food. She told me she loved to read, watch a movie and loved to immerse herself in a story or an adventure and she would do this instead of eating when she wasn’t hungry.

 I asked her how she felt about the new insights and she said it felt strange that wanting to eat food that she didn’t really want was really about a memory so far ago.  She realised she could remember and appreciate her dad in other ways now rather than eating.

After years of yo yo dieting this client changed her habits after this session and went on to reach her goal weight and maintained it. As her health improved her depression lifted as well.

Disclaimer: (Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person).