Ok, so who of you out there has tried a diet at some time or another? And how many different ones would that be?
Earlier this year there were reports in the press that by the age of 45, the average woman in the UK will have tried 61 diets. Even if this is wildly overestimated it is a truly disturbing statistic. For that average person to have tried 61 diets, they must have 'failed' at 60 of them. Exhausting, expensive and, unless number 61 was a success, a huge waste of energy.
You just have to type the word 'diet' into Google to be completely bamboozled by the number of apparent weight loss options there are out there. I selected just the UK based results and got 72,900,000 pages to chose from. Even as someone who likes choice, that's very full on. So in this maelstrom of information the diets that shout the loudest are the most successful. You know the ones - you spot them immediately after entering a bookshop and then later they pack every second-hand book shop shelf as they are discarded by all the people that have moved on to the next diet plan.
So, let's think about it for a minute... Once you've got over the nightmare of choosing the diet that absolutely, definitely, has to work this time, surely it follows that if they work, one is enough and it should then be easy to lose the weight, be happy, wear that fabulous bikini, skip over rainbows etc? Except we all know that isn't true.
Why? Because generally, if you're overweight, there's a reason for it, and it's not just as simple as not eating the cake, otherwise you'd have done it by now, right? People who've been on a diet are 'experts' in their field. In a quick survey of women I know, most are able to give you the approximate calories in all major food stuffs, a breakdown of the best low carb recipes, talk for hours on the dangers of wheat and diary etc, etc - forever!
As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist I work with the unconscious mind. Did you know that your unconscious controls at least 90% of what you do? So if it has an idea about why it's good to be overweight, or to use food to allow you to feel better, then all the conscious processes in the world won't be able to change things in the long-term. That's why you can usually loose weight for a bit, but it eventually goes back on again unless something else shifts too.
So how to get your unconscious mind on board? Well, firstly you could start with an emotional needs audit. What isn't being met properly in your life? Finding out and making appropriate changes decreases the need for any emotional dough or crisp shaped crutch.
How are your relationships? Are they fulfilling? Do you get your needs met? Is there an equal give and take? Do you feel loved?
How is your work/life balance? Do you enjoy your work? Do you need to be more fulfilled by your career? Are you able to juggle the needs of your home and work? Do you have enough 'you' time?
And what about fun? It is a basic human need to find enjoyment in life. Are there ways that you can up the fun factor? When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh? Can you build enjoyment into everyday tasks as well as planning some regular ways to increase the amount of time you can just purely have fun?
Are there other things in your life that feel out of balance? What can you do about them? Remember it's the smallest changes that add up to the biggest long-term ones.
You could also go to see a Cognitive Hypnotherapist near you who can help with deeper shifts that could lead to a new relationship with food. What clients often report is that they reach a disconnection from food. It becomes just fuel rather than a big sign saying 'Comfort' or 'Love' or 'Happiness'. This can be a revelation. No longer to be emotionally hijacked by a packet of chocolate biscuits can be a freeing experience. Shifting the way your unconscious mind works to support you can really make the difference in allowing you to reach your long-term weight loss goals. That bikini can be possible, this year and next, and all the way into the future. I'm lucky enough to have experienced it from both sides - as a client and also as a therapist. This really is a great way forward.
For more information on finding a Cognitive Hypnotherapist near you go to the Quest Institute therapist finder at http://www.questinstitute.co.uk/therapist-finder/ or feel free to drop me a line if I can answer any questions you may have or share my experience.