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Feelings, attitudes, and emotions are the basis for every human difficulty. They start us on patterns of behavior and then leave us on them long after they have gone. There is hardly a person who remembers the pleasure as an infant of receiving a bottle of warm milk. It was comfort, security, love, and nourishment all wrapped up into one wonderful white package. Still, even though we cannot remember it consciously, we still reach out for food when what we are actually seeking is comfort, security, and love. No one asks you to change that. The psychological law of “reverse effect” forecasts that the harder you try to make a change, the more likely you are to fail.
When we were an infant, the bottle quieted our aroused anxiety and hunger. Years later, our French toast in the morning, layer cake in the afternoon, and chocolate in the evening perform the same function. Even though those anxieties have long since vanished, the habits of morning, afternoon and evening snacks – continue.
An example of this was a 29-year-old female client. Despite becoming a size 6, she mentioned that while she had lost 38 pounds in her weight loss program, she then missed her last session. After she backslid, adding back 35 pounds, she came back again for a free reinforcement session. She remarked her physician felt that she was displaying signs of anger and her anger was the cause of overeating. Her doctor described it as a passive, self-destructive kind of anger that found an outlet in the refrigerator.
Another client began to cry when she told how her husband sided with her 13-year-old daughter when she reprimanded the child about her poor grades. She immediately sought relief through eating.
One other client developed an ineffective habit. She complained that her children were on her back all day and she had a backlog of work to be completed. She did not sleep at night as she made multiple trips to the refrigerator.
Nagging or non-supportive spouses, rebellious children, or other frustrations have been mentioned by clients as a step toward irresponsibility affected through their emotions.
Weight loss occurs most readily in an environment that assists with healthy eating and health-promoting exercises. Many efforts that assist people to achieve weight loss fail due to a lack of a supportive social and interpersonal environment. The social setting that most likely supports making healthy behavior changes is the family. A healthy family environment reinforces and helps to maintain weight loss related behaviors.
For many of us, our family is a major mechanism of influence in effecting change both in each family member and in ourselves. The concept of family has many meanings. Our family can represent a biologic or a household family, or a functional personal connection. This also includes the parent-child connection. The nature of our adult-child relationship merits strong attention as a means of influencing healthy behaviors.
Positive eating behavior changes last longer if interventions are aimed not only at the individual but also at the family’s attitudes and habits.
Still, this does not mean that all of our overweight problems are thrust onto the shoulders of our parents and family. Even the most excellent parents will reward their child with food and develop a conditioned reflex that lasts throughout our lives. The need for happiness and reward sometimes means a trip to the refrigerator. The best parent will give a restless child something to eat hoping it will work as a sedative. Therefore, another conditioned response is developed. Food equals peace of mind.
Still, safe weight loss and effective weight management can be produced. The solution may appear simple — take in fewer calories than consumed. However, for most people, this is challenging. Diets fail to a certain extent; failure takes place because achieving weight loss through dieting requires maintenance of behavior changes, which is difficult to sustain unless we have support.
At Medvesta Hypnosis, we can assess some of the ways emotions affect you and your eating habits. During our sessions, we develop and support methods that restore proper habits. We promise you here, and now it will be easy. There will be no battles with willpower and no pangs from your conscience — no tears.
Call today (630) 974-1800