Thanks to skimpy clothing styles and anorexic magazine models being touted as the way that people are supposed to look, in our culture, being overweight can be the kiss of death to singles trying to find a mate, as well as to couples who are trying to put the spark back into their love lives.
Everyone is trying to diet so that they can be slim, sexy, desirable, and find love. In their search for love, singles often post profiles on Internet dating sites. As part of their profile, they routinely post 10+ year old pictures of when they were much thinner. And it is also common for them to miss-state their weight by 30 or more pounds.
But none of this is much help at convincing someone to instantly fall in love with them. That’s because when they eventually meet for dinner, a drink, or a cup of coffee, the truth is revealed.
Being Overweight is a Behavior?
Being on a diet is neither a pleasant nor natural way of life. Even though scientists tell us that all of the popular diets work and will make you lose weight, no one seems to be able to stick to them, for many complex psychological reasons. What many people don’t understand is that our unconscious mind compels us into behaviors that will benefit and protect us. And being overweight can be one of those behaviors.
When I tell that to clients, most of them respond with a look of “you ain’t playing with a full deck, you must be crazy, not me!” on their faces. Then they try to lecture me that I must be wrong, because being overweight is not a behavior; it is just the result or outcome of overeating.
Unfortunately they are wrong. Often being overweight is the result of emotional eating. Emotional eating takes place when a person is motivated to make him or herself fat, because by being fat they will protect themselves in some way.
How Eating Becomes Emotional
For example, if a person got their heart broken in a relationship, their unconscious might motivate them into a behavior that would prevent them from getting their heart broken again. In this example they are motivated to get fat to keep them out of another relationship, because that will eliminate the possibility of another broken heart.
The reverse can also be true. Someone involved in an unhappy marriage might unconsciously motivate himself or herself to become fat to keep them in the marriage for the sake of the children, or because they are afraid of being alone. As a matter of fact, there are as many different possible benefits that one can obtain from being fat as there are overweight people.
What Else Affects It?
There are also two other unconscious programs that cause the average person’s appetite and cravings for food and an urges to eat to get out of control:
A. When you pair eating with any other behavior, the two behaviors become associated together at the unconscious level of mind. Thereafter, other behavior will trigger cravings for food and a compulsion to eat. This is called a conditioned response. For example, if you eat when you watch TV, you will automatically feel an urge to eat each time you sit down to watch TV.
B. When you feel tense, you feel compelled to put something into your mouth for relaxation and pleasure. This is the result of programming that you received as an infant. When you got cranky, your mom put a bottle in your mouth. You got distracted, relaxed, and probably fell asleep. Now when you get cranky (anxious or tense), you feel compelled to put something into your mouth for relaxation and pleasure.
So, How to Fix It?
Okay, okay, some of this psychobabble sounds pretty complicated, so what can you do to fix this situation? We discussed emotional eating, which makes the person overweight. And the “behavior” of being overweight then provides some sort of emotional protection.
Being a hypnotherapist and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, I use a technique called an NLP Six-Step Reframe. The reframe actually negotiates with the unconscious mind and gets it to assume the responsibility for making the client automatically substitute some other more acceptable behavior in place of being overweight. Since the new behavior will provide the same emotional protection (get the same outcome), the client loses the compulsion to eat to become overweight for emotional protection.
Hypnotherapy is a great tool for extinguishing the unconscious associations that cause the conditioned response type of cravings described in paragraph “A” above. And since the very essence of hypnosis is relaxation, hypnosis provides a powerful tool for triggering an overall feeling of peace and well-being, which eliminates the tension that causes the compulsion to put something into the mouth for relaxation and pleasure.
Self-hypnosis for weight loss can be a very effective method. I can only uncover the tip of the iceberg in this short article.