Can You Think Yourself Thin?Posted on Sep 30th 2010 3:00PM by Martha Edwards
I'll preface this by saying that I'm not someone who desperately needs to lose weight. I'm healthy and I'm in shape. But although I have a normal BMI, I would never complain if five or 10 pounds miraculously dropped off my frame. McKenna claims that his method works for those looking to lose five, 10, 20 or 50 pounds, so I suppose I fit the profile.
Following McKenna's program is surprisingly easy -- all you have to do is read a book and listen to a 30-minute CD once a day for two weeks. Altogether, the book took me a little over an hour to read. It outlines -- and repeats ad nauseum -- the golden rules of his weight loss approach: Don't diet or deny yourself anything, eat when you're hungry, eat slowly without any distractions and stop when you're full. Sounds simple enough, right?
Um, maybe not. Although his rules sound easy, I really struggled with them. As a 20-something overworked single gal, sitting down to eat slowly without any distractions is incredibly difficult. Aside from social dinners with family and friends, I can't remember the last time I just ate. I'm always reading, scanning headlines or catching up on that episode of "Mad Men" that I missed. You'd think I'd be grateful for the few moments to myself that this "slow eating" rule provided. Wrong again -- I found myself annoyed that I had to waste my time doing something silly like eating. Don't get me wrong, I love food. But it turns out I love multi-tasking more.
I think my difficulty with this part of the program highlights a fundamental problem that many of us have with food -- we just don't have time to listen to our bodies. We want a quick and tasty fix to our body's need for fuel, and too often we overdo it by rushing. McKenna's program did me a huge favor -- it made me realize that I need to work on this. Badly.
As for the CD portion? That didn't go as well as I expected either. McKenna's aim is to hypnotize you, tap into your subconscious and re-train your thoughts to enable you to have a more positive self image and live a more healthy life. For me, the CD taught me at least one thing I didn't know about myself: I seem to be un-hypnotizable. I fell asleep a few times, but mostly I just listened to the entire CD fully conscious with my eyes closed.
Now, onto the results. It's been three and a half weeks since I started the program, and I've lost ... drum roll please ... exactly zero pounds. Oh well. McKenna himself pointed out that this is no quick fix and won't help you shed 10 pounds in a week, so I didn't expect much.
But although I wouldn't say that I'm one of McKenna's success stories, I'm still glad I tried the program. I've found that slowing down my eating habits became easier over time, and more and more I find myself asking the question, "am I really that hungry?"
I've also found myself more at ease with my eating habits -- I'm someone who's constantly over-analyzing my food choices and for the first time in years, I feel relaxed around it. I no longer stress about what I'm eating -- rather, the focus has shifted to whether I'm actually hungry or not. If I am? It's fair game -- until I'm full, anyway.
But if there was one phrase I could use to sum up what the program did for me, it would be this: When it comes to food and my weight, I generally just feel happier in my own skin. I'm not saying Paul McKenna changed my life -- I still find myself wolfing down a taco at warp speed while analyzing a report over my lunch break from time to time -- but I'm working on it.
More Hypnosis for Weight Loss:
K.C. Swapped Cookies for Yoga and Said Goodbye to 140 Pounds
Fit or Fiction: Can Hypnosis Help Me Lose Weight?
Hyp-Yoga: Lose Weight and Gain Peace