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Our family moved from Arkansas to California when I was young teenager. Soon after we arrived, my parents became close friends with an Indian couple in their 60’s named Virot and Irmala, whose entire family was still in India. Virot and Irmala quickly became like family to me, and I thought of them...

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I would kill to be her size!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-21-2016

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her_sizeIt was one of those rare days when my appointments were back-to-back, and every client arriving saw my last one leaving. Normally, I leave sufficient buffer time so this doesn’t happen, but I was going on vacation the following week and squeezing in as many clients as possible before I left.

It just so happened that almost everyone scheduled that day was coming in for weight loss. My first client weighed about 200 pounds and spent much of our session talking about how her body size made her feel unattractive and unworthy of love. We worked on building her confidence and strengthening her commitment to healthier behaviors and attitudes, ones that would help her make the changes to her body that she wanted.

My next client appeared, passing my first client in the hall. As soon as she entered my office, she remarked, “Wow, that woman looked great! I would KILL to be her size.” I smiled to myself, knowing how my first client felt inside about her weight.  The second client expressed many of the same feelings as the first, and the processes we worked on were similar.

The third client, who weighed about 300 pounds, arrived as the second was leaving. When she sat down and I asked her about her goals, she said, “I want to look like your last client. She was beautiful, and I know if I were her size, I would be happy.” I sighed to myself. Too bad my last client didn’t feel that way.

The last weight loss client that day was referred by a nutritionist, who wanted me to help this woman create some new and very specific habits. The client’s current weight was about 375 pounds, making her my heaviest client at that time. She sat down and said, “If I could only look like your last client, then I know I would finally be happy.” At this point, I was thinking, Okay, Universe, I get the message you are trying to send me! You can stop now…it’s getting a bit silly!

her_size2After this session, my final appointment showed up—a former model who weighed around 110 pounds, who wanted help with public speaking because she was pursuing a career in event hosting. Great…I was done with weight loss clients for the day! She and I had a good session, and when she left, she passed my suitemate, Karen.

Done with my appointments, I happily accepted Karen’s invitation to join her for an end-of-day cup of tea. Karen was 5’10” and probably weighed around 115 pounds. As we sat sipping tea, she said, “Jill, your last client looked amazing. I would KILL to be her size.”  I almost spit out my tea… Clearly, it was time to go home!

No matter where you think you are, how fat or unattractive you see yourself, know that someone out there is sitting in envy of you and your amazing body, and is likely thinking, “If I could only be her size, then I would really be happy.” Decide to be happy no matter what your size, shape, financial situation, relationship or employment status, and make it so. Life will happen whatever your appearance or circumstances, but you always have a choice over your attitude: enjoy and appreciate who you are, or beat yourself up and suffer. Trust me on this one—deciding to be happy and grateful produces far better life results than choosing misery. Focus on the positive and it increases. You are too important to settle for less.

 


Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com

No More Pizza for You!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-07-2016

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No_More_PizzaAs a long-time weight loss coach and formerly overweight person myself, I know from firsthand experience that telling yourself, “No! Never, ever again!” about a particular food simply doesn’t work. The reason I bring this up is that it’s a big problem for a lot of people. As humans – and especially humans who love food! – restricting our diet does not come easily for us.

A while back, I had the distinct displeasure of learning from my doctor that all those terrible and debilitating stomachaches I was having after meals were, sadly, not caused by an ulcer (I say “sadly” because an ulcer wouldn’t be that difficult to resolve), but instead, severe gluten intolerance. What?

Yippy! Now I had to give up everything I’d held so dear from my cupboard. In my case, the sensitivity is so bad that I can’t have chocolate, coffee, or most grains. Aren’t I the lucky one…?

One must adapt, though, so birthday cakes got replaced with bowls of brightly colored, flavored popcorn – I try to have some fun with what my body can handle – and I switched to a mostly Paleo diet, which made me feel about 1000% better almost right away.

So what if you have to change what you eat?

If you have a health problem, like gluten intolerance or diabetes, that makes it very unhealthy to eat particular food items, don’t count on the negative physical consequences of eating those things to deter you from eating them anyway. Scientific research has shown that just doesn’t work.

Research has also revealed that the anticipation of having a particular food item causes the body to release more of the “happy hormone,” dopamine, than actually eating the craved item. In light of this, eating the forbidden item won’t make you happy, either.

Wait… There is some good news.

I have a tried-and-true tip to share about my own journey giving up favorite foods. For example, as I write this piece, I’m actually picturing this chocolate-covered marshmallow thing that is sold at Trader Joe’s. I love these thingies and am dying for one right now. Bad, Jill, bad! I’ve found I have to deal with this longing, or it will deal with me, and not mercifully. Here’s the tip:  Allow yourself to feel the anticipation of having whatever it is that excites you. Then, make a special trip to the store and buy…wait for it…baby carrots!  Yep, baby carrots.

No_More_Pizza2Make a big show of sitting down, pouring the whole bag of those bright orange crunchies in a bowl, and eating them. Don’t restrict yourself to just a few, but eat the whole bag or half if it’s a big bag. Again, we know the anticipation triggers more dopamine release than eating the actual item, so much so that from a chemical perspective, eating the food itself is a bit of a letdown.

Baby carrots taste good enough that you will actually eat them, and yet not good enough that you will splurge on them like you would chocolate. The result of eating carrots or chocolate will be the same in terms of satisfaction, except that you’ll get even more delayed satisfaction with the carrots, knowing you didn’t indulge in something that will make you fat. Worst case, you might suffer a little stomach upset from eating too many baby carrots. However, you won’t be hungry anymore, and more importantly, you didn’t contribute to that habit of rewarding a craving. (Often, cravings are a kind of inner child response to stress, because children “want what they want” and won’t be happy until they get it.)

I guarantee you won’t have to do the baby carrot technique many times before you start picturing baby carrots when the craving starts for your favorite sugary treat. It’s an amazing buzz-kill, really, but it works!

If this admittedly pretty ridiculous idea sounds just plain stupid to you, consider that what you have been doing probably isn’t working either, which makes that stupid, too. I encourage you to give this a try, since there’s little to lose and possibly much to gain (not pounds, either). On the other hand, if you find the baby carrot approach doesn’t work and you come up with something better, please email your idea to me. Once I check it out, your tip might appear in a future blog of mine, and be available to help others. The feeling from offering solutions to those in need…well, talk about dopamine release!

In the meantime, I am headed to the store for some baby carrots.

 


Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis

760-803-2841
HealthyHabitsHypnosis.com