I had the very great pleasure of meeting Seattle-area Hypnotherapist Jackie Foskett in Bellevue last week. I loved hearing about how she came to hypnotherapy—a very interesting path, encompassing a career in dental hygiene on two continents, and a lifelong interest in natural therapies. But more about that later—
We talked a little bit about the current issues our clients bring to us. Lately, I’ve been working with so many folks dealing with weight issues—so many of us are, these days. I was struck by Jackie’s offhand comment. “Well, it’s never really about the weight, is it?”
So true! I’ve been blessed to work on this with individuals in my practice, and also with groups through classes in Hypnosis for Weight Control at Whatcom Community College here in Bellingham, and as a result I am learning so much about the complexity of this issue.
It’s interesting to me that people who’ve never coped with a weight problem can so easily dismiss it as a simple thing: eat less, or exercise more, and the weight will take care of itself. No doubt for some it really is that simple. And it’s probably just as hard for the rest of us to comprehend their take on the problem as it is for them to understand our struggle.
I’m reminded of the first time I had a professional massage, after my car had been rear-ended. I’d been struggling with pain and the tension that struggling with pain inevitably brings along with it. About an hour after the massage, I went for a long walk, marveling the whole way at how easy it felt to move, how different my body felt with that tension released, how that relaxation permeated my whole being. I called the massage therapist and said, “I feel like I’ve just made friends with my body again!”
Perhaps that’s why the first simple exercise from Dr. Jan Chozen Bays’ book, Mindful Eating, is so powerful. (I start my Hypnosis for Weight Control class with this exercise.) It is the focused attention on the act of eating a single raisin—and that focused attention is the beginning of uncovering our very complex responses to food, to eating, to our bodies, and to ourselves. It’s a very powerful place, that feeling of trust in our bodies and in ourselves.