by James Barfoot

Many people gained extra pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. According to the National Institutes of Health, the American adult obesity rate was 33 percent in 2000 and is around 40 percent today. The holidays are a time of celebration, gatherings with friends and family, but they are also a stressful time. All the details of entertaining and gift-giving, possibly magnified by contact with friends and relatives we seldom see, adds to the pressure. The cascade of hormonal “fight-or-flight” reactions can lead to anxiety and lack of sleep, which may contribute to overeating in an attempt to boost our energy, but which actually has the opposite effect. The body is hardwired to store fat in this survival mode.

Survival mode is an evolutionary trait designed to get us out of danger fast so that we can live to reset ourselves to a normal, more relaxed state. If we get stuck there, we begin to fall back on old unconscious patterns that sap our energy and resolve, thus reducing our ability to make good choices. By failing to prepare meals, we grab fast food or eat out more often. We skip exercise because we are too busy, and soon see the unwanted results.

The first step is to shut off the stress mechanism. There are many ways to do this, including meditation, breathing exercises, tai chi and yoga. Hypnosis, supported by powerful personal coaching, is the quickest way to reset these out-of-control behavior patterns. Once the mind reverts to old habits, it needs support, along with strong intention, to make consistently better choices.

These patterns of poor choice are usually accompanied by an inner dialog that justifies them, such as, “I am too tired to cook!” or “There is nothing at home to eat.” Think of intention as the road map that gives us direction, while hypnosis gets rid of the backseat driver giving us the wrong directions.

When this happens, a feeling of renewal occurs. The good choices get easier when we feel supported to make them. When people start to realize, “It’s clicking,” they understand that the reward of hypnosis goes far beyond the weight loss and increased vitality. It’s much more of an internal sense that they are worth the effort that leads to real behavior change. The post-holiday season is an ideal time to seek out this effective, much-needed support.

James Barfoot, CHt, is a life coach, author and state registered clinical hypnotherapist. His practice is located at 915 W. 2nd Ave, Ste. 7, Spokane. For information on behavior change and weight loss, visit IntentionalHypnosis.com.