Can Hypnosis Help You Finally Get Fit?
I Tried Hypnosis for Weight Loss
So, does it work? Results do vary, but almost half the hypnotherapists in a recent survey said they'd seen an increase in weight-loss clients in the past year. So I decided to give it a try on my 15 extra pounds. I called Sean Wheeler, an Atlanta-based member of the National Guild of Hypnotists (the main accreditation board), and scheduled an appointment.Week 1
I was sitting in a recliner, listening to Wheeler's voice telling me to relax. Seriously? This didn't seem so different from hypnosis in the movies. I told myself to go with it, and I felt my body sink deeper into the chair. About 10 minutes later he started talking about food. "From this point forward, you become aware when your body is full and stop eating. You're attracted to healthy food." I left with a CD of our encounter to listen to daily to carve the mantras into my brain.
The next day, I paused when I was halfway through my lunch -- and dumped the rest. I wasn't hungry. I know what you're thinking: Sounds suspicious, a little too easy ("Poof! You're not hungry!"). I thought so too. But a couple of days later I realized that either (a) hypnosis didn't work like magic or (b) the spell had worn off when I downed an entire bag of chips while playing cards with my sister.Week 2
At my second session, I told Wheeler about my successes and slip-ups. He said that was progress; then I settled in for another round of hypnosis and eat-right suggestions. That night I had dinner at a Cuban restaurant and sipped water (no margaritas!).Week 3
After eight weeks I had dropped seven pounds. I'm too much of a skeptic to say whether I was making healthy choices solely because of hypnosis, but the process taught me to be more mindful. True, the whole thing felt a little hocus-pocus. But I'm not complaining -- and neither are my skinny jeans.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2011.
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