My blog seems to be an ever changing creature, rather like a cloud it squishes this way and that, altering course and drifting a little here and there so that other shapes and images are formed.
Words spoken, recipes shared, photos taken and the odd opinion thrown in here and there for good measure. You know I miss my blog when it goes all recipe focussed and I don’t seem to actually write any more. I feel as if something has been taken away and although I am pleasing many with the images and recipes I know I am not pleasing myself.
You see I like to chat.
So I have decided that from now on Monday will be my day of chat, my Monday Musings if you will. No recipes or home hints on a Monday just a bit of chat either about my life here in my little corner of the world that I fondly refer to as Walton’s Mountain, or a bit of a rant or ramble on something I feel I want to share.
Todays musings fall into a wee bit of a rant really and I’ve been meaning to share this for ages really. Many of you will know that I struggle with my weight.
I’ve tried everything to lose the weight and felt real desperation at times. You see my weight is all tied up with image issues/low self esteem/anxiety and depression. A nasty tangle that has caused me much anguish throughout my life from years of bulimia to an on and off ongoing battle with anxiety and depression and all the hellish meds and their repulsive side effects (most of which cause weight gain which seems doubly unfair) that particular rocky road involves.
Weight bears heavy on the minds of so many of us, particularly women.
That desperation can lead us down wrong roads. Have us reaching for a quick fix and end us in all sorts of trouble.
I did a stupid thing this summer whilst in the throes of that weighty desperation that I’d like to share here in the hopes that folks might learn from my stupidity and not be sucked into such things themselves.
This isn’t an easy post to write because the whole business has left me feeling stupid, less of a person and more of a fool.
As many of you will know I lost a lot of weight four years ago when I split up from Mr X. I went from a UK size 22 to a size 10-12 (in American terms that are about going from an 18 down to a 6-8); I took up running and felt great about my body. Things weren’t going well in other areas of my life but for the first time I felt in control of my weight. It was a giddy feeling and one I relished.
I threw out all the big clothes and embraced my shape. Wore dresses, skirts and fitted tops. I went brighter in colours and amassed a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes that, if I am honest, were for a life I hoped to have, not the one I was actually living.
Over the past four years life has been a bit of a bother in a variety of ways. I won’t dwell on it here but old readers will know about my brother having cancer and the long drawn out decline of Mum and how she died last winter. Throw in a broken heart, loss of my beloved pets and failed businesses and you get a heady combination that pulls you down. Depression rears it’s well known and ugly head and the hard won battle in the weight loss department falls to pieces.
I started putting on the weight again last year even though I was running 6k every day. Then foot problems meant I had to stop last summer and the botched surgeries I had this spring have left me unable to run and limping when I walk.
Do you see a picture here, an element of desperation; I was ripe for the quick fix, the solution, something to make me feel good again.
I saw an article in a magazine about hypnotic gastric mind band therapy and how this could have you dropping weight effortlessly. There was a local company doing this and on enquiring I found that they would offer me the service for nothing (priced at £395) if I’d write about the experience in a magazine article and thereby promote them. This seemed like a good idea and they assured me continuously of their 100% success rate. The system was quite simple really; I went to their house for hypnotherapy and a talk about nutrition and eating once a week for 4 weeks with the final week being the hypnotherapy for the actual hypnotic gastric band. The hypnosis and talking up to this was to change your thoughts about eating and have you heading in a new direction.
First week I was weighed and measured and given a print out of 41 pages of very basic weight loss information. The sort of thing you can pick up free at the Doctor’s surgery, off the internet and every time to turn on the TV. Eat less, exercise and drink 2 litres of water a day.
The hypnosis had me relaxing and choosing between two paths, to walk down a path littered with greasy chip wrappers, sweet papers and the detritus of overeating, feeling fat and unable to walk eventually. Now if I took the slightly uphill path I could be eating lovely green salads, fresh food, feeling lighter and having a far better life.
Did this have me eating less, hmmmmm not really? I felt no different. I knew all this stuff about eat less, drink more and do exercise.
It was the same for the next two sessions but they didn’t weigh me again till the last session when I had the elusive hypnotic gastric band ‘fitted’. I knew I hadn’t lost anything but felt embarrassed about it so kicked off my shoes thus giving me a 3lb weight loss – whoopee!
On to the actual hypnosis for the gastric band. This time it was a tape that was playing and not the hypnotist as they had sounds of an operating theatre in the background for realism, she even said that many people said they could actually smell the anaesthetic when this was all happening. Sure enough when I was ‘under’ and being told that I was in the theatre there was a blast of that all too familiar anaesthetic smell, it was so real. I was told that my stomach was being banded to go from being the size of a football to that of a golf ball. No longer would I feel comfortable eating big meals. A tiny amount of food would fill me up.
When I came round I enthused about the smell of the anaesthetic, wow how amazing. It was only later that I discovered that this smell was actually a plug in that you can buy on EBay called Vortex Aroma that puffs any scent you want. Apparently hypnotists are meant to tell people when they are using this and not let people think that it is actually something they have brought to mind themselves.
I left thinking I would be nibbling on tiny meals and feeling full. It didn’t work. Sitting down to a mini meal left me ravenous. My stomach didn’t feel any different at all. I lost no weight at all. Now don’t get me wrong maybe this works for other people but it didn’t work for me.
When I next spoke to them about two weeks later and reported that it hadn’t worked they were rather angry and pointed out that it Had to work. Eat less, exercise more and drink 2 litres of water a day. It Had To Work. “But what about the hypnotic gastric band?” I asked. “Oh that’s just the icing on the cake, it’s the changing your eating habits, doing more exercise and drinking the water that makes the difference, if you gave that hypnosis tape to someone else it wouldn’t work, it’s all the information that is important”. They actually said that the reason it might not have worked on me was that I hadn’t actually paid for it, and people putting down £395 of their hard earned cash tended to motivate them.
This disgusted me. People paying that kind of money should be getting more than basic weight loss information that they can pick up anywhere for free and not from two people who are not qualified in any form of nutritional guidance. I also discovered that they are not registered with any of the recognised bodies in hypnotherapy which smacks of having no qualifications whatsoever. I blame myself for not checking up on them; the sad thing is that there is no jurisdiction on alternative therapies and hypnotherapy. Anyone can do a weekend course and set themselves up as a therapist and take your hard earned cash for their dubious services.
The hypnotic gastric mind band didn’t work for me. Maybe it has worked for you; in that case I doff my hat and wish you well. For me it was a total waste of time but did at least teach me a valuable lesson, not to trust so easily, not to be taken in by a flash web site and a solicitous smile and gushy kindness. Maybe these people are doing some good for others, I don’t actually know, but they certainly banged on about their wondrous 100% success rate. Their system certainly didn’t do it for me, but I doubt if they’d ever drop their perfect percentage.
So if you are thinking of going the hypnotism route for weight loss please check out the practitioners carefully, look for real and valid hypnotherapy qualifications, and if they are offering nutritional and any sort of medical advice ask to know what sort of validated training and qualification they have in this field.
Don’t be taken for a mug. I was.