Can doing the hokey-pokey help you lose weight?

container of bird seed

Do you still clean your plate because there are starving children somewhere in the world?

Since moving to Louisville, Kentucky, I’ve had to find a new source of food for Peek and Twinkie, the budgies.

Maybe you don’t know that birds are picky eaters. Sort of like toddlers. In fact, parrot-type birds have the intelligence of a three- or four-year-old human.

You might have more experience with toddlers than with birds. If so, you know what it can be like to get them to eat something.

The subconscious or nonconscious mind is kind of like a toddler. It likes things simple, uncomplicated, and routine. That’s why many people have trouble changing habits, because they approach them the way an adult would–not the way a toddler would.

I was talking to a woman who had been to a hypnotist before, and although it worked, and she lost weight and changed her eating habits, she was somewhat mystified by the process.

“He told stories and talked in a funny voice,” she said.

There are many versions of the “hypnotic voice.” It can be monotone, singsong, excited, or soothing. It can use rhyme and rhythm like poetry. It can also sound like normal speech. It sometimes sounds like the kind of thing you’d say to a toddler.

The subconscious mind speaks a different language

Certain vocal qualities and speech patterns more easily bypass the conscious mind–which is the whole purpose of hypnosis. When we bypass the conscious mind, we can communicate directly with the subconscious or nonconscious mind, which is where habits reside.

This toddler approach can get greater leverage with your nonconscious or subconscious mind, because you’re communicating in its native language.

One of my successful weight-loss clients created a suggestion that she was, “Healthy, happy, active, and attractive.” Can you hear the rhythm and rhyme in this short phrase? This suggestion worked well for her because it was from her heart, and the rhythm, rhyme, and simplicity perfectly meshed with the toddler approach.

Going back to my first question–Do you still clean your plate because children somewhere are starving?” Your conscious, rational, logical mind knows that you will never put food in someone else’s mouth by cleaning your plate, but you do it anyway because of a message you received from an adult when you were a child. These childhood messages stay with us long after they have outlived their usefulness! How do we erase these messages? By creating new messages using the same toddler language.

You can test this out for yourself by creating a short, fun, rhythmic, or rhyming message. If that sounds like a lot of work, schedule a strategy call. I have listened to clients come in with these childhood messages for more than 15,000 hours. You aren’t alone, and what worked for them could work for you. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Free Strategy Call

Weight loss misdirection and marketing

Milk Duds box advertises 30% less fat
Is 30% less fat in candy good news for weight loss?

I get really irritated by those sneaky, lying weight-loss liars.

I was at a church function recently where the icebreaker included naming your favorite movie (on this particular day mine was Groundhog Day) and reaching into a little tub full of movie candy and pulling out a box for your prize.

I pulled out this box of Milk Duds.

I didn’t look at it very closely until a few days later, and I noticed this surprising marketing angle: “30% less fat!”

Which begs the question, “30% less fat than what, exactly?”

 (This is a good question to ask any time “more” or “less” opinions come into play: Compared to what? For example, “You should be more successful.” Compared to what? “You shouldn’t talk so much.” Compared to what?)

When you look closer, it says it’s 30% less fat than other candy bars.

On our weight loss journeys, many of us have been taught to watch out for fat, because fat contains more calories than carbs or protein. Maybe Milk Duds have less fat than a Hershey bar–because chocolate has more fat than caramel, or taffy, or whatever the heck is inside a Milk Dud. That doesn’t mean they have fewer calories than a chocolate bar, less sugar than a chocolate bar, or are healthier than a chocolate bar.

That’s the first level of misdirection, but there’s more

Fat still doesn’t have anything to do with the sneaky, lying weight-loss liars. No, that would have to do with servings.

One serving of Milk Duds is 10 pieces, or 130 calories. Now, who counts out ten pieces and stops there? There are 4.5 servings in the box. That means this box of Milk Duds has 585 calories–more than a Big Mac!

Now, if I’m going to eat something, I want it to be something that makes me feel satisfied when I’m done. A Big Mac has a much better chance of making me feel satisfied than does a box of Milk Duds. And I don’t like Big Macs, so no thank you.

I’m not a dietician or nutritionist–I’m a hypnotist, which means I pay attention to language and suggestion, and “30% less fat” makes Milk Duds sound like a healthy option. What it actually means, though, is “Look over here at the amount of fat! Don’t flip the box over and look at the back, because then you would learn that just one box a week would make you 8 pounds heavier over the course of a year.”

I have friends who are marketers, and they have products to sell. There is nothing deceptive about saying, “130 calories per serving.” But we live in a busy world, and while we may have the habit of asking, “How many calories?” once we have that answer, a lot of us stop reading. “Oh, 130 calories? That’s not much.”

Focus on what benefits you

It’s just as easy to build a habit of taking one more step and getting one more piece of information (“How many servings per box?”) that could help us make a new decision. 

Little things can make a big difference. If you’d like to jump on a free strategy call together, we can brainstorm ideas about how to set up the mental automation to make healthy habits simple.

Kiera Knieghtly talks about hypnosis and PTSD

movie theaterWe make assumptions about people:
  • how successful they are,
  • what they like,
  • what they care about,
  • what they believe.
We don’t often make assumptions about what they are afraid of.
Photographers and other media workers so harassed Keira Knightley that it resulted in a PTSD diagnosis and fear of going out in public, among other things. She was only 22 years old. Hypnosis was one of the tools she used to get her life back.
I don’t think people realize how tough performing is. At any measure of success — a little or a lot  — the costs are high.
Some may scoff at Knightley’s story, but fear can be debilitating, whether it’s a fear of flying, of public speaking, of spiders, diets, or heights. No one should have to go through life constantly terrified.

Mind/body, sexuality, and coaching

Man and woman kissing
Photo by Scott Webb

A couple of weeks ago, I met with Kristine D’Angelo, of DoYourSexLifeAFavor. D’Angelo is a certified sex coach, which means she’s a coach (someone who listens, asks questions, gives homework assignments, reflects, encourages, holds people accountable, etc.) who helps clients with goals regarding their sexual lives – physicality, attitudes, experiences, communication (with self and others), blocks, barriers, history, and future – among other things.

She told me she’d always been interested in the topic, that life circumstances arose that sparked her curiosity and compassion and led to an extensive research project, and that she continued that way for awhile – researching and sharing – until discovering the professional niche and certification. What a wonderful service!

I consider myself lucky and blessed to have been born when I was, in the early ‘60s, a decade that launched a barrage of questions aimed at traditional gender roles. (Anyone who knows me knows I love questions.) I consider myself doubly blessed to have discovered science fiction when I was young. The SF of the sixties and seventies examined social constructs as often as it extrapolated from hard science. I read utopias and dystopias and speculative fiction and adventure, things like _The Void Captain’s Tale_ and _The Man Who Folded Himself_ and _Stranger in a Strange Land_. I grew up thinking that being gay was like being redhead: a normal minority. I had polyamorous friends. I was straight, monogamous, and Christian, but I really, really loved men and sex.

So the new Sex Positivity movement is near and dear to my heart. I think a positive body image is a basic human right. I don’t think we should settle for being comfortable in our own skin – I think we should enjoy and adore and delight in being in our own skin. When I hear women or men of any age – but especially my age – say they’ve outgrown the need for sex, or are too tired, or have better things to do, or think it’s shameful, or shocking, or whatever… well, it’s a big world full of all kinds of people, but those folks are not my tribe. For anyone who has been traveling with that tribe out of inertia or fear, stuck in embarrassment or longing and not sure how to shift out of it, Kristine brings wisdom, skill, curiosity, and a passion for healing.