So, I was 18 and on a budget coach holiday to Rimini in Italy with my best friend Amanda. And it being budget, the lira were in very short supply. As a treat we bought ourselves a lilo, just one between us, and took turns floating on the gloriously warm Adriatic Sea.
It's my turn, I'm lying on my back, the waves lulling a deep and sensuous dream of all being well with the world, the summer sun deliciously warming and playing dreams in shades of tangerine on the backs of my eyelids.
A rather large wave engulfs the airbed and the spluttering shock causes me to jump or rather inelegantly fall off the lilo. Feeling a bit daft I glance back to the shore to see if Amandas laughing at me and realise that I've floated way beyond what feels a comfortable distance. The tiny figures on the beach, the stretch of sea between me and them, a heavy burgeoning fear slickly sloshed into the pit of my stomach...what should I do?
The lilo is floating further out.
I should swim back to shore.
I don't .
The lilo is important to us, isn't it?
I choose to get the lilo and swim even further out. The current however is against me and it continues to float further and further from reach.
Have you ever experienced that feeling? The OMG this is really happening, how did everything get so bad so quick.
I was so tired of reaching and failing, I started to take time outs by floating on my back while the airbed needing no such breather floated its own path.
I am way out at sea, it feels like miles, it won't be but perception a few inches above sea level is deceptive. I am thinking that reaching the lilo is going to be my only way of surviving.
I cannot reach it and I cannot breathe.
Ok, I'm here and writing this, so you know I must have done.
I was rescued by a lifeguard on a raft that he was rowing like a venetian gondola. He took me back to shore.
I was 18 and obviously stupid and to be honest got over the whole thing pretty quick, relief is a wonderful relaxant.
I believe in people, I really do, that you can pursue your goals, that its all in the mindset, that with planning, hard work and a healthy dose of reality you can make things happen or be happy or successful or any way you wish to be.
However make sure what you are chasing is important to you and that whatever it's costing you is worth it.
Don't let it be a lilo.
Oh by the way the prompt for this little trip down memory lane is a Cosmopolitan article: Hypnotherapy Helped Me End a Toxic Relationship
"It's not just what you smell, but also what you think you smell. Asthmatics often are anxious about scents and fragrances. When we expect that an odour is harmful, our bodies react as if that odour is indeed harmful."
So real symptoms caused by belief…..
…..Which basically means you get what you expect.
Just maybe you can act even faster and change your psychological environment now.
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.
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
And the happy conclusion is that 'Happy status updates are more 'contagious' than unhappy updates'
"This pattern of behavior occurs in smokers with and without diagnosed mental disorders. Unsurprisingly, views about smoking predict whether or not people attempt to quit and whether or not they are successful."
Smokers say that when they haven't had a cigarette for a while they can experience irritability, anxiety and low mood. However they are most often confusing the physical aspect of nicotine withdrawal with the incorrect perceptions that smoking delivers calming and comforting emotional benefits. This is usually why they quit the quitting and take up the habit again.
So this study looked at loads of other studies and conducted its own experiment into the mental benefits of sticking with the ciggies as opposed to packing them in.
They tested smokers (average age 44 smoking about 20 a day) from the general population as well as patients suffering physical or psychiatric conditions and found that…..wait for it….
Quitting smoking improves all facets of mental health
And concluded that
Measuring mental health status by anxiety, depression, positivity, stress and psychological quality of life, the researchers found that quitting smoking was associated with improvements in all of these factors.
This applied to the participants both in the general population and clinical patients - including people with mental health disorders.
Three broad explanations have been suggested, the researchers note, for associations between smoking and poor mental health:
• Smoking and poor mental health might have common causes
• People with poor mental health smoke as a coping mechanism for low mood and anxiety
• Smoking causes mental health problems or makes these problems worse.
Whatever the cause, the researchers believe that the relationship between smoking and mental health requires further attention. If smokers believe that their psychological wellbeing will be adversely affected by giving up, then they will be less likely to do so, which has implications for their physical wellbeing.