Eating, motivation, and overeating
It's hard to create eating motivation. I had a consultation this morning with a woman who I had last seen in September. She she came to be hypnotized to stop smoking. She was back, not because she had started smoking again: she hadn't, but because she was suffering from cravings for fatty food.
Her background was that she and her husband had broken up a few years ago. Then her mother died about one year ago. Her daughters had left to start their own lives. The economic downturn meant that her job was safe but slow. Basically she felt she nothing to live for. She had no one to look after, an empty house and a boring job. Her focus was just to get through the day.
The consequence was that she no stimulus, got bored, and started thinking about eating. In the absence of any other calls on her time she fantasized about what to eat. With nothing else to think about, food became a consuming obsession. She thought about it and thought about it until she just had to get up and go buy something 'nice'. She ate that and then then boredom set in again and the whole cycle repeated.
The result was massive weight gain. Previously she had smoked instead, and whenever she was bored she would go out and have a cigarette. So snacking was now filling the the gap she used to fill with smoking.
What causes overeating?
The root cause was the same: a lack of purpose in life. She was drifting from day to day and filled in the void with whatever activity gave her a little pleasure, smoking or eating.
It was only after a long session of question and answer that she came to realize what was happening to her. She learned to consider her way of life from an outsider's perspective. She needed to become aware of her own eating motivation. She was overeating because she was just living by default, drifting, with no plans, no goals, just one day after another.
So I encouraged her to think about what she could do and she came up with a plan. She was going to use the spare time at work to do online courses on her computer to challenge herself to get more skilled at her job. In the evening she would go to evening classes to learn Cordon Bleu cooking. That would to gradually build up her confidence and her social life by getting family and friends round to share meals she would be proud of.
Hypnosis and Eating Motivation
I therefore devised a hypnosis script to make her dissatisfied with her current life. It focused on her weight and her aimlessness in order to motivate her to seek change. Then I added a visualization of a happy future to give her a goal to go for. Then I included direct suggestions to emphasize how she has succeeded in the past and how she can succeed now. Then I finished with a kinaesthetic feedback technique using hand movements to convince her that her subconscious had agreed to make it all happen.
I cannot decide to change people's lives to what I think they should do. But this was a way to use hypnotherapy to motive her to find her own resources to move forward in the way that was best for her.
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.