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).