Hypnosis may be best known as the party trick used to make people do the chicken dance on stage, but more and more people are turning to the mind-control technique to help them make healthier choices and lose weight. Case in point: When Georgia, 28, decided she needed to lose the 30 or so pounds she put on after foot surgery in 2009, the dieting veteran turned to hypnosis. The mind-control technique had helped her overcome a fear of flying in the past, and she hoped it would help her make "fundamental changes" to her habits.
At first the self-proclaimed foodie was surprised by her hypnotherapist's recommendations. "[She had] four simple agreements to which I would need to adhere: Eat when you're hungry, listen to your body and eat what you crave, stop when you're full, eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. As such, no foods were off limits and I was encouraged to eat everything in moderation—music to my ears!"
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As the treatments progressed—Georgia saw her hypnotherapist about 8 times over a 1-year period—she saw measureable improvement. "The weight dropped off slowly and surely, without huge changes to my lifestyle. I was still eating out numerous times a week, but often sending plates back with food on them! For the first time ever, I was really tasting my food, spending time to take in flavours and textures. Almost ironically, it was as if I had recommenced my love affair with food… only I was able to lose weight doing so." In between appointments she adds that she did her best to maintain her new healthy habits.
Dispelling the myth that hypnosis feels "weird" or out of control, she says, "Under hypnosis, I always feel very lucid and still in control." But there were funny moments like when was told to visualize stepping on the scale and seeing her goal weight. "My overly creative mind had to first imagine myself removing all clothes, every bit of jewelry/watch/hair clip and jumping on in the nude (anyone else do that, or is it just me?!)." (Side note: No, it's not just you Georgia!)
Two years later she has happily maintained her weight loss, occasionally checking back in with her hypnotherapist when she needs a refresher. "Overall, I found hypnotherapy to be a great way of readjusting my habits and really enjoyed the flexibility and inherent 'sensibleness' of the whole approach."
To read more about Georgia's adventures, check out her blog Fabulous Food and Frolicking!