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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).

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