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“Success is dependent on effort.” Sophocles

“They succeed, because they think they can.” Virgil

It is 2016, a new year and a new beginning. Most people have made some kind of plan or resolution. For many, weight loss tops the list. At the commencement of each year, most Gyms and exercise equipment are in full use. People are ready and optimistic. They will begin their new diet whether it be low carb, low-fat, high protein, calorie counting or any of the new promising diets with much vigor and determination. Some people will see weight loss, and most can decrease some of their poundage with any of these diet plans. The issue at hand is not losing the weight. It is sustaining the loss and maintaining healthy lifestyle. Like any change, there is no magic or ease.

Some see unhealthy eating or overeating as a habit while others believe it falls under the realm of addiction. Many people say, which I agree, it is a most perplexing phenomenon, and one not easy to ameliorate. At times, it seems almost impossible, and the pharmaceuticals continue their ongoing exploration for the transformative drug which would cure this indomitable woe. In the meantime, weight management remains a most elusive quest for many. Because of it complexity, I would advocate it as many habits within one.

Substances such as drugs, alcohol and nicotine are not easy from which to abstain. In fact, for some, they are life-long struggles and require ongoing support. The difference from food, however, is that they are negligible for remaining alive. In fact, one’s life can markedly improve if they cease any usage of such substances. Without needing to say, this is not the case for food. What makes the issue of food more complicated is not only the need for sustenance, it is often quite pleasurable and is part of being social. Frequently, there are psychological contributions to overeating as well as a genetic component. Indeed, it is much easier for some to maintain a healthy weight while it is torture for others.

As a hypnotherapist, I have found weight management to be one of the more challenging issues to address. Many people expect to see almost immediate results, and I cannot say I blame them. Some have suffered for years, and because of the images conveyed about hypnosis, they have a predetermined almost fantastic perception of its ability to alter one’s life. Hypnosis can be effective, but it must be recognized as a tool. As with any instrument, it is often the singer and not the song which elevates its performance. When people seek out hypnosis for weight management, they must be ready to accept their role and willingness to augment the benefits of this wonderful alternative treatment. Health should be number one, and with this being the primary focus, there is nothing wrong with desiring the secondary gain of “looking good.” One of the suggestions I often make is to start with a habit which might be easier to overcome in order to experience success. For example, many people will say refusing food after dinner would be the least daunting so we begin with that. By addressing this one habit, they will eventually see a change, small as it may be. They are replacing an old destructive habit with a new one. It might only be abstinence of food after a certain hour or, better yet, altering a lifestyle habit which accompanies it. Once one recognizes their efforts are beginning to pay off, success will mobilize them to move on to more difficult eating habits. Perhaps, the next challenge will seem less arduous because the first produced such positive results. The most important thing to remember is the need for patience and perseverance and to recognize one did not reach this weight overnight. Success is a marathon not a sprint. Truly, there are no panaceas. Permanent or fixed solutions will not prevail without the earnestness of the subject at hand. Hypnosis will work for weight management only if you are willing to work with it.

Living healthy is not impossible, but it takes discipline and determination to do so especially as one ages. The multitude of habits within the habit of overeating must be recognized for what it is. If you are ready and willing to take on the challenge, hypnosis is a wonderful tool to motivate and enhance your resolute. You must be committed, however, to accepting your role in maximizing success. If you are, the quest for weight management might not be so elusive.