My Personal Weight Loss Journey

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My name is Paul Hunter and I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist. I have had a weight problem for the past fourteen or fifteen years. I learned over the years to use food as a way to overcome stress and any time I ever was stressed, I would find myself snacking constantly. The result of all of this eating behaviour was that I reached 20 stone 7 pounds in early 2010. And I finally decided enough was enough!

During this time I had used some hypnotherapy techniques on myself and I had limited success. I would curb my snacking for a while but after a month or two, the old behaviours crept back in. And then I heard about this new weight loss sensation that was taking off in the UK, Europe and the United States called HYPNOBAND gastric band hypnosis.

I was intrigued and I was very interested in introducing this programme to my clients in Cork……..but only if it worked for me.

My Initial Consultation

I met with the HYPNOBAND practitioner that I had found and went through a comprehensive weight loss questionnaire with him. I was asked questions that, to be quite honest, I wasn’t expecting, such as “Did you clean your plate as a child?”, etc. I wasn’t too sure what relevance┬áthis had to my current eating behaviours but it gradually became clear to me that I was instructed by my parents to do that way back when I was a child, and I had never questioned that piece of childhood programming – I still was doing EXACTLY as they had told me – cleaning my plate. When I became aware of this, I remember my first thought was – “well that’s pretty ridiculous – I don’t need to do that any more. I’m an adult now and I can make my own rules”.

My First HYPNOBAND Session

I remember my first HYPNOBAND session really well. I remember my motivation to exercise wasn’t really that high. Any old excuse would be used not to exercise – it’s too cold, I can’t go for a walk because it’s raining, I don’t have time, etc. During Session 1, my motivation to exercise was really boosted, so much that I just couldn’t stop myself getting out and about every day and going for a 30 minute brisk walk no matter what the weather was like. The funny thing is I began to enjoy it immensely and I began to wonder why I ever made excuses not to do it. I also began drinking 2 litres of water every day. During the hypnosis part of this session I imagined myself as I would be when I was 12 and a half stone (my ideal weight. That was so vivid that I felt I was in that 12 and a half stone body and I have to say, it felt great. Then I was given a self-hypnosis cd and told to listen to it every night.

My Second Session

There are many emotional reasons why a person overeats and some have to do with emotions such as boredom, stress, frustration, need for reward, etc. During this session, we explored the real root causes behind my emotional eating and resolved one or two things that I would never have thought would have played a part in me being overweight.

My Third Session

I got to choose my surgeon and my anaesthetist and my nurse. This was quite a fun session where I got to use my imagination and I chose as my surgeon George Clooney (I was a big fan of E.R. back when he was in the series). My anaesthetist was a doctor that I knew that had a really boring monotonous voice and I could imagine him putting someone to sleep from a thousand paces!. My nurse was my wife who is a really caring person anyway and who I always feel safe around. During this session I got to go and meet with the surgeon and the anaesthetist and have a chat about the operation and find out exactly what would happen at the next session during which the operation would be performed.

My Gastric Band Operation

When I got to the hypnotherapists office for my fourth session, immediately on entering, I smelled the smell of anti-septic which gave me a little wave of nervousness which I found to be very amusing. I knew perfectly well that I was perfectly safe and just in a hypnotherapists office but the antiseptic smell reminded me of hospital. I went into hypnosis and, over the headphones that I had been given, along with hearing the hypnotherapists voice describing the operation, I also heard the sounds of an operating theatre – sounds of monitors beeping, the chatter of the surgical team as they carry out the operation, etc. And I know it sounds weird but it was like there was one part of me knew perfectly well that I was in a hypnotherapists office but there was another part of me was smelling the smells, hearing the sounds and also feeling touches around my stomach area which were all convincing me rather strongly that I was actually having gastric band surgery!

What’s Happened Since?

Well the operation happened over a year and a half ago now and here’s what happened to my weight. I started at 20 stone 7 pounds. As of right now (30/3/2012), I weigh 15 stone 4 pounds. That’s a total weight loss to date of 5 stone 3 pounds! And I am rather proud of that!

About Paul Hunter

Paul Hunter is a highly respected Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master EFT Practitioner who was the first person to bring the HYPNOBAND gastric band hypnosis weight loss method to Ireland. He has a keen interest in the area of weight loss having lost a significant amount of weight himself and also because of his keen interest in food and nutrition. Paul is a regular contributor to the Irish Examiner, Cork Independent, and Red FM (Cork)