Hypnosis, sleeping, Spain & the stupid stag!

This time last week I was sleeping on a beach….on purpose you realise, not just homeless or hungover or anything!
It was in Spain, snoozing under a wonderfully hot, china blue sky, occasionally waking to dip into the clear cool diamondly freckled sea.
From our balcony we'd scouted the regimentally placed sun beds, a platoon of blue and white uniformed plastic beneath the matching caps of fringed parasols. Closer to, the choice was to be made…

Would it be a bed on the shoreline, to be buffeted by the cooling sea fret and an unrivalled view of a limitless horizon….the pro's already mentioned….the con's, well… You had to tiptoe between an almost unbroken barrage of sandcastles constantly being repaired and fortified by deceptively deepening moats, as well as snooze with one eye open as the bat and ballers took to the shallows and 'kthunk', kthunked' with amazingly sustained levels of patience….

photo of kindle

Or would it be further back, where the breeze had had time to be warmed by the sun, the sand was soft, the beach towels fluffy, unsandy and draped to perfection and the community more like minded in their pursuit of tans and time out….the region of the beach I shall forever rename KindleLand……Ahhhh Bliss! 

The cons were outweighed, in fact the con's were unseen or unfelt until midmorning, heading to noon time as the post full English nap time demanded a dip before weighing up the prospect of a light lunch.
The sand soft and yielding, now, bit the tenderest of pedicures with a ferociousness born of Hell, flip flops a flimsy defence, the lava like heat melting skin and a willingness to move…..the sea stretched painfully too far from reach, the cool firm sand a distant sanctuary….all of which heralded the start of the middle-aged dash. You must have seen them, even participated as I did…the top half jigging at twice the rate of the bottom half, skittering from one patch of shade to the next as, in-between, poise and composure evaporates into screechy little embarrassing sounds as you grimace apologetically under your KindleLand neighbours brolly.

One of the highlights for us all holidaying in KindleLand last week was the unfortunate tale of the Stupid Stag.

Way to the back of the beach was a bar, cool and inviting, the stags and hens had pegged the place as a fantabulous place to stake out day and night. The beer was obviously good, the shots vividly coloured and sweet and the music pumping….rousing choruses of clubbers belting out "Sweet Caroline, da, da, daaaaaah….good times never felt so gooooood!!!" brought a smirk to the face whenever they played it 10 times a day.

So it was mid afternoon, and I can only imagine the conversation that had taken place before the event we witnessed, must have gone down something like….

"Haha, go on then Gazza, you're the best man, your turn for a dare and we dare you to put that lasses pink sombrero on your head and run naked down the beach and jump into the sea, ha ha ha ha" Or something along those lines.

And Gazza into his umpteenth pint of the day squished against the shady bar in amongst the relative safety of his peers all egging him on was probably thinking something like… "Yeah yeah leave it up to me lads, you can count on me, the joker of the pack, I'll give you a story to tell all the poor saps back home who had to work this week, yeah ha ha I'll be dining out on this escapade for weeks to come ha ha!"

So stripped and with his sombrero on his head, out he dashes, full pelt down the wooden walkway that stretches halfway down the sand….now, theres a queer moment when you emerge from the shadows into bright sunlight, you cannot see a thing till your eyes adjust and that little pink man was to enjoy that short moment of sun blindness as he heehawed his way towards the sea…..

…..a great roar of "Go on Gazza!!!" erupted from the bar interrupting us KindleLanders mauray into the latest Stephen Kings and Martina Coles and as one we turned to see the galloping white body with a pink sombrero on his head, looking like a pimple, first skips onto the white hot melting glass sand…..we, like a flock of meercats raised ourselves to seating position as his feet and eyes smacked him right back into daytime reality…."Ha ha" turned to "AAAAAHHHH, AAAAHHHH!" and his mates laughed even louder….

Photo of some meerkats

Now its amazing how much body language you can read from a person uncovered, as theres so much more to read, and his wistful look back at his gurning mates and the realisation that a beachful of gleeful meercats were enraptured by his burgeouning pain gave him pause for 'about blinkin' time' thought. 

To go back was wussy, to plough on now an almost medical emergency as his little tootsies were burning bright and torturous. He lowered his sombrero to cover his nether regions and dashed on, falling sombrero first into the sea. He emerged sober…..Ive never seen such a painful expression as that sobriety as the lifeguard rushed from his highchair shouting and whistling at the 'eejit' clutching that drippy pink sombrero.

Us meercats were all on our feet watching the spectacle as befits people of our age with no kids to protect from the lewd goings on. Pulling some shorts from his backpack the lifeguard made him dress then hustled him red faced off the beach.

Mother opened an eye on hearing the collective creak as the meercats settled back down to e-read, "Whats happened, Trace, what you looking at?" "Oh, nothing really Mam, just admiring the sandcastles" She'd have been gutted to have missed that.

Looking back I realised I strayed far from the point I was going to make……well I'll just make it a link instead.

Insomnia study published 7th June 2014
Slow-wave sleep improved with hypnosis, study suggests


Hypnotherapy | Overweight & overwhelmed

As a specialist in weight management hypnotherapy I see lots of people wanting to change their shape and size. So we sit and talk awhile. 

Now I'm no kind of dietician or personal fitness instructor so what I bring to the table is an understanding of a persons own emotional and psychological issues surrounding food and eating and feelings and so on……….which in a hypnosis setting really means that what I bring to the table is a way for you to understand your own feelings and behaviour. Seriously I don't know why you do the things that you do, but you do……and no amount of words can help you explain to me the complexity that is the you inside.

And the fact is that even just thinking about why you do the stuff you do and trying to be logical about it is pretty much impossible. Overeating or undereating doesn't make sense to your conscious mind. Nobody sets out with a plan to feel uncomfortable, ashamed, guilty or ill, or unconfident or misunderstood, to feel unsexy or in pain or stressed and depressed or under pressure from society to be different and conform or any of a myriad of other negative emotions that clients have expressed.

As an aside I do not under any circumstances believe that being overweight for example should make anyone feel like this, but if you are coming to see me then its not because you are truly happy about how you feel.

And so at some point the grand old daddy of all phrases makes its appearance 'Emotional Eater'

To which nearly everyone will say "Naah not me, I don't think so, I just enjoy eating the stuff I do, I get a craving….I'm just always hungry, I've always been a big eater. Honestly I've got a pretty good life, nothing to get sad or mad about. I don't use food at all to mask or soothe my emotions." Or something along those lines.
Terming something 'emotional eating' doesn't mean you're cuckoo or not able to cope with things…..not in the slightest

Heres a little Emotional Overeating Fact Box……does anything tick with you?

1. Emotional eating is often thought to be caused by an inability to distinguish physical hunger from unpleasant emotional states.
2. There are a number of recognised differences between emotional and physical hunger. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly rather than  gradually, is experienced as an inescapable craving rather than a hunger pang in the stomach, and feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly. It causes cravings of foods high in fat and sugar and is not satisfied once the person is full, leading to overeating to the point of discomfort. 
3.  Emotional eating triggers feelings of guilt and shame which do not normally follow eating to satisfy physical hunger.
4.  Emotional overeating is a way of coping with or silencing a range of negative emotions. However, the feelings of guilt and shame which follow an episode of emotional overeating usually leave the person feeling worse rather than better.
5.  As overeating can cause weight gain, over time emotional overeating can lead to further difficulties such as greater dissatisfaction with body image and diminished self-esteem. Recent research suggests around 45% of people who are obese use food as a means of managing their emotions. (Buckroyd, J. & Rother, S. (2008) 'Psychological Group Treatment for Obese Women' in Buckroyd J. & Rother S. (Eds) Psychological Responses to Eating Disorders and Obesity: Recent and Innovative Work, Chichester, Wiley & Sons, 103-119.)

You have learned to do the stuff you do and continue to do it because at some point it has achieved the desired results. Feeding someone, treating them with little sweet titbits is love. Physiologically we desire high calorie foods, evolution wise eating high calories was a successful survival strategy and thats why that stuff tastes good, the way we're built means that anything promoting survival of the individual or the species is a pleasant thing to do. We know food like chocolate affects the brain chemicals in a completely different way to sprouts.

a meme describing you are what you eat

So when you feel like you are struggling with weighty issues, and the whys and the how to stop it are proving elusive perhaps a talking therapy can improve your success most importantly in the long term.

Stress in all its shapes and forms whilst sometimes appropriate can have a major physical and mental health impact. Being overweight is stress on top of stress and has a direct influence on slowing down digestion and therefore the ability to lose weight.

When it feels like you are fighting a losing battle and every day you have to summon the motivation to continually deny yourself the stuff you really want. Or you yoyo yearly strugglingly determined to reach a target weight then temporarily feeling euphoric before slowly gaining back each valiantly lost pound. And as the old habits reemerge to take you down deeper than before it is horribly stressful.

A study published 2 days ago concludes that: 

Stress can be dramatically reduced from just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation
Stress reduction from just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation - Medical News Today

Mindfulness is one of the elements of my approach to weight management. Simple, Elegant & Successful