Why can't you lose weight?
It is strange how so many people remain overweight, but are always the same weight. They stay much heavier than they want to be for years and years with barely any variation. You would think it would be just as simple to lose weight once, and stay at that lower weight in the same way. The Invisible Woman gave me an insight into why some people just cannot lose it.
My client had been on every diet ever published, had tried fasting, had tried everything – but none of it worked. She always ended up eating when she didn't have to. Something would make her feel miserable, and she would reach for the comfort food. She said to me, "It's not that you want to be overweight, it's just that you don't care".
I spent some time exploring why she didn't care. She could not give me an exact answer, but it had something to do with how she felt about herself. Basically, she didn't care because she knows that whatever she does she won't be seen, won't be accepted. So why not just do what you enjoy? Eat.
Her basic problem was "I am rejectable". She always expects to be rejected. "I feel invisible. Nobody cares". Given that basic feeling then it is understandable why she eats, gets overweight, and doesn't care.
Origin of the Invisible Woman
I had no idea what to do, really. So I put her into trance, and decided to go with whatever developed. Once she was securely in trance, I went for what I thought was the principal problem – the feeling of being unimportant, invisible. I simply got her to focus on that feeling.
My aim was to get her to really open up to the feeling instead of avoiding it. So I asked her, "And feeling that feeling, what comes to mind?" After a while she started to tell me about a memory of coming to this country. She was a child, she did not understand what was happening, she had lost all her friends in the old country. It turned out that her mother hated being in this country.
Her mother was pressured into coming here and resented her husband for making the family relocate. The marriage began to break down, and for a lot of the time her mother just wasn't around. That little girl felt neglected, abandoned, not looked after. And then her mother died at age 12. She became a problem, instead of a little girl.
Visualizing the Invisible Woman
That explained where the Invisible Woman came from. I encouraged her to stay in the feeling. The feeling changed and grew. She said "The feeling is fear. I am like a gas bottle. I am all solid steel, and full of pressure, and about to burst". Using her metaphor of the gas bottle, I tried to get her to imagine it breaking or collapsing. She could not see that. Then I said, " Has it got a valve?". Then I got her to imagine a tiny leak from the valve. That transformed it. Suddenly the gas bottle was emptying and pressure had gone.
She then gave me a visualization. She said "I am dressed in a fairy costume. In a room full of grownups. I am dancing and showing off. I am delightful and getting noticed". Then she said, "They are all stroking my hair". I developed this metaphor. I told her she was dancing and spinning. As she spun more and more I suggested that little girl was growing up.
Then I put her in front of two mirrors. One was today's overweight woman, the other one showed her as she wanted to be. I was going to use the standard change procedure of moving from her one to the other. But she surprised me. She said "the fairy has touched the mirrors with her fairy wand. And I am now changed to the new picture". She had come up with her own transformation method!
My final help was to give her a visualization of her dancing down the street in her fairy costume and into her new future. Lovely.
How do you deal with problem eaters? Leave a comment below.
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.