There’s a technique that I use as a hypnotherapist to understand the underlying reason for physical issues. When a woman comes to me wanting to understand why she has gained weight or can’t lose weight, this is one of the ways that I often start our work. Here’s an example of how the technique might work:
Me: Imagine that weight on you, where you feel it, what it feels like. If that weight had a color, what color would it be. If it had a shape and texture, what would that be? Now, if you could imagine removing that object and holding it in front of you, what would you see?
Client: It’s blue and soft, sort of like a pillow. As I hold it in front of me, it takes the shape of my favorite blue pillow when I was little. My mom made that pillow for me, and after she died, I hugged that pillow to me every night until it was ragged and my dad made me buy a new pillow.
Me: If that pillow could talk to you now, what would it tell you?
Client: That it’s safe, it’s comforting, that I’m not ready to let it go.
After that, I wouldn’t work with my client on weight loss…I’d work on healing that inner child who lost her mother and healing the adult who still grieved.
Some of the other answers I’ve heard when doing hypnotherapy around weight issues:
- The weight is protection because I’m constantly on my laptop and cell phone. My body is trying to create a barrier between us. (Then we would work on lifestyle changes that can help her spend less time online.)
- The weight represents a time in my life when I felt really lonely and like I was being left out. (Work on releasing the pain of that time in her life and helping her with areas in her life where she might be feeling the same way now.)
- The weight is protecting me from unwanted attention. I was sexually abused as a child and the weight is a shield now. (Unfortunately, this is a common theme that comes up when I’m working with women. It takes a lot of work to heal those old wounds, but it can absolutely be done. In these cases, the weight often comes off only when the woman is ready to let go of that armor, which takes time.)
Interestingly enough, sometimes the weight doesn’t actually exist. Many women who are a healthy weight “feel fat” but once they heal the emotional wounds, they realize they no longer feel that extra weight. It was just phantom weight.
So how can you use this technique yourself to begin releasing that extra weight? Here’s a handy little worksheet I made so that you can practice this work on your own. Print it out and keep it for those days when you need it.