A lady, let’s call her Margaret, came to see me recently for weight loss. Over the years she’d tried all the usual diets and some fairly unusual ones as well, yet here she was, unhappy because she was larger and heavier than she’d ever been.  Margaret had recently celebrated her birthday and she showed me the card her colleagues had given her. On the front was a picture of a cake and inside, her colleagues had all written the same sort of message – eat cake! For example, one had written “keep calm and eat cake”, another said “relax with a glass of wine and a slice of cake” and another said “forget the diet, relax and enjoy yourself”.  Now why, knowing how much she wanted to lose weight, they’d written such comments, well that’s a subject for a different blog altogether but to be fair, they probably meant well and didn’t even realise what they’d done, but they had, in effect, re-enforced the idea that in order to relax and enjoy herself, Margaret needed to eat.

Overeating and weight gain is a complex issue: it could be for emotional reasons – for example, boredom, stress or loneliness; sometimes it’s time management – living on takeaways and junk food rather than making the time to prepare healthy meals; sometimes it’s portion size, sometimes lack of exercise. There are many reasons and everybody’s different .

In Margaret’s case we did something called Parts Therapy because a part of her wanted to lose weight but a part of her got some benefit from eating cakes and chocolates. Through Parts Therapy Margaret was able to identify that benefit  – she ate to relieve stress – and she was then able to find an alternative means of alleviating stress without automatically reaching out for food.

I’m pleased to say she’s doing really well and I am confident she will continue to do well because unlike the diets she’d tried before, hypnotherapy works at a deeper level, at the subconscious level.

So next time you’re sending someone birthday wishes, spare a thought and be careful what you wish for!