When I mention hypnosis as the key to my weight loss I am met with either intrigue or skepticism. There are people who want the phone number immediately and all the details – where, when, how much? There are people who are dismissive – “I can’t be hypnotized, it would never work for me.” All I know is that I joined WW at least 20 times. In on- again-off-again dieting I weighed 170 lbs looking to lose 20 and up to 215 lbs overwhelmed at how fat I had become. I would join with determination – This time I’m becoming a lifetime member! I would strictly follow the diet – count my points, prep my meals, exercise. I would go to weekly meetings, weigh in and week by week would become more and more discouraged at the pace of weight loss. I would play games, eating what I wanted and then starving for days to stay within my points. I would “guestimate” points in my favor, feel entitled to treats after good workouts and then annoyed at the scale with advice like “You’re not eating enough X”, or “You’re exercising too much…” I had one great leader who I followed from center to center, but I can honestly say that I felt the meetings were not helpful for me – I don’t want to spend 45 minutes arguing about points in a recipe or how to fit exercise into the life of a busy mom who really just doesn't want to exercise. I went to meetings because that is what successful WW participants do. When I quit for the last time, August 2012, my weight was 179.4 lbs and I had played with the same 6 lbs for 6 months . I put my name on the waiting list at Key Hypnosis.
On December 12 I sat in a room with 50+ other people and we listened to Julie Kibe, a quirky, passionate, thoughtful woman with credentials as a hypnotist, who has worked with diabetics and their physicians for several years. She talked about sugar and insulin; about the body’s natural rhythm – how it follows the seasons of feast and famine, about set point. She talked about how obesity rates can be traced to the introduction of processed foods, preservatives, and genetic modification. She cited the science and encouraged us to learn more. She hypnotized me and I didn't even know it.
She gave us an eating plan and some simple dos and don’ts:
- Eat when you are hungry, not when you’re not, you have free will;
- Eat protein with a face with whatever else you choose;
- Cheese is a condiment
- No rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, grains, nuts, soy…
- Eat real food – real butter, sour cream, olive oil (no fat free products…)
- No fake food (no diet sodas, fake flavors, …)
- No weighing, measuring, counting calories, reading labels
- No scale ever.
- You will know when you are done by how you feel.
She asked us all before we left what size we wanted to be - I said 6/8. I am now a 6/8.
Three sessions total - 15 hours and that was it. I trusted the process.
At first I didn't feel overly excited, but then I noticed – it was Christmas and I could have cared less about cookies or candy or eating…. I didn't mind not drinking wine or mulled cider. I was pretty apathetic about food.
I started noticing changes in February, and by April my sister told me to buy new jeans – the butt was baggy. I remember going shopping for shorts in May and the size 10s were too big?! I honestly couldn’t believe it and still think the vanity sizing has taken to extremes – I can’t possibly be this size!
My run times are faster and the training is easier for me. My sisters and I were doing 6-7 miles without thinking much of it and finishing strong. Even the longest, hardest runs did not wreck me the way they had in the past. For the first time in my life I felt strong and normal and free… How much of my life was spent worrying about food, weight, my appearance? How many times had I stepped on a scale and let it affect my day? I feel so passionately about this process - controlling my relationship with food is what made this work. I know the calories for hundreds of foods. I know the science of proteins and fats and carbs and how fiber works and vitamins… I don’t need a lesson. What worked was changing my mind. I will tell whoever wants to know about how Key Hypnosis. It really worked for me when so many other diets ended in failure (and NO, this is NOT an infomercial).
One year into it and I know my work has just begun. I want to be stronger, firmer, faster, fitter. I am anxious about maintenance and adding foods into my plan. I need to figure out my new normal. There are plenty of people who have been in my shoes only to gain back pounds lost in spite of their intentions. I don’t know what will keep me in the land of the maintainers, but I’ll never stop at it. It feels good to put my jeans on.