I’ve never been a “naturally” thin person, I’ve been on some kind of diet ever since I was 11 years old (I’m 42 now), and have managed to generally hover around a size 10/12 most of my adult life. But all that has changed in recent years, during which:
a) I married someone who loves me for who I am and couldn’t care less what size I am.
b) I’ve had two children, and
c) been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and polycystic ovaries, all of which have led to the weight gradually creeping up.
I’m now about 4 stone up on my “fighting weight” and gone from a 10/12 to a size 18.
Of course, like many of us, every few months I try my very hardest to lose it. Delicious nutritious shakes (!), low carbs, no carbs, no sugar, counting points, counting calories, red days and green days – you name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve probably lost 20 stone over the past 5 years…and by that I mean the same stone, twenty times. There’s only so much starvation/liquid food/reading labels I can actually handle before getting extremely bored and reaching for the biscuits, leading to a total failure to achieve any kind of sustainable weight loss.
I’m not someone who handles failure easily, which has led to my self-esteem dropping to probably the lowest it has ever been in my life. We had a wonderful family holiday this summer, and it struck me that there wasn’t one photo of me on my own – instead in every single one I am hiding behind one of the children, using them as a shield to protect me from the camera. I wore a huge tent-like swim-dress or massive cover-all kaftan the whole time, whereas once I was super proud of my curves. I wanted to get that feeling back and to stop hiding.
Earlier this year I went along to a local networking event for women in business and was lucky enough to meet Sue Peckham. Sue is a renowned hypnotherapist and co-founder of the Hampshire Hypnotherapy Centre. I’d heard of her through the phenomenally successful series of weight loss apps she has created with her business partner James Holmes, and the success stories I was consistently hearing really got me thinking. If hypnotherapy could work for all of these people across the globe who had used Sue’s methods, meaning they no longer had to count calories or worry about what they were eating, and yet were still losing weight at a healthy rate, why shouldn’t it work for me too? And so today, on 12th October 2017, I decided to take the plunge. I booked in to see Sue in person at the Hampshire Hypnotherapy Centre, and my weight loss journey began.
I’d had hypnotherapy before to help me overcome a fear of flying, and also when I did a Hypnobirthing course with my first baby. I’d remembered it to be a profoundly relaxing experience, so was really looking forward to the session although was still a little nervous as to what to expect.
Sue put me at ease immediately with her calming reassurance and wicked sense of humour. We’d already talked through the history of my weight battles and what I wanted to achieve. So, after a quick recap, we got straight down to business. Sitting in a very comfy armchair with my feet up and listening to Sue’s soothing voice and the most relaxing music possible, I very soon drifted into a deep state of relaxation. Sue had explained that the first session was about “clearing the decks”, and during the
Sitting in a very comfy armchair with my feet up and listening to Sue’s soothing voice and the most relaxing music possible, I very soon drifted into a deep state of relaxation. Sue had explained that the first session was about “clearing the decks”, and during the hypnosis, I found myself physically blowing away uncomfortable memories, which was an extremely cathartic experience.
There is no “smoke and mirrors” to Sue’s methods – I remained fully conscious and aware of everything throughout, there was no question of being in a “trance” or doing anything I didn’t want to do. Just the most extraordinary feeling of peace and tranquillity, and the time and space to connect with my innermost feelings.
After the hypnosis session, Sue put me on the scales (I removed my shoes, as any overweight person knows, shoes can weigh up to 2 stone), and I was pretty appalled, but not completely surprised to see I was the heaviest I have ever been. But rather than burst into tears, which would be my usual reaction, it just made me even more determined that this time things were going to be different.
And things are already different. I came home to a beautiful roast dinner, of which I would normally eat every scrap, then have seconds of roast potatoes, and collapse on the sofa unable to move for the rest of the evening. However this time I followed the guidelines that Sue had given me, that work alongside the hypnosis sessions. I enjoyed every single mouthful, listened to my body – and stopped eating when I was no longer hungry. This meant leaving more than half the food that was on my plate – I was so amazed I actually took a photo and sent it to Sue! I NEVER leave food on my plate. And it feels SO different – I’ve had a good meal and eaten everything my body needs, but no more. I don’t feel remotely bloated or guilty – in fact just a little bit smug. And for the first time in literally years, I’m not reaching for a biscuit to have with a cuppa afterwards.
One of the reasons I am going public with this journey is to be accountable to other people – not only to Sue, but also to the thousands of her followers who might see these updates on the website or on her Facebook page, and might just be inspired themselves to just give it a go. But mostly I’m doing it to be accountable to myself. At the end of the day, I can blame my weight gain on any number of factors, physical or emotional, but the only person who can put it right is myself.