"Oh no! I can't resist Nana's famous coconut frosted devil's food cake! Well, just a small slice." "Look, honey, it's that special barbecue sauce we had when we were in Memphis. Pour some of that on these ribs for me."
"I never saw a cupcake wedding tower before. I'll just have a bite of each flavor. I'm on a diet."
"Hey, the sign says 'All You Can Eat Tacos,' so dig in, kids!"
Summer is a great time to visit with friends and family. Picnics, cookouts, beach parties, weddings and graduations fill up our calendar before the suntan lotion hits the store shelves.
Many cultures use food as a social event, and the temptation to overeat can be compelling. We often find ourselves face to face with some of our most cherished childhood memories, like Mom's secret recipe macaroni and cheese, a giant 12-pound cheesecake or those huge yeast rolls that don't even need butter. Perhaps the most insidious challenges are those loving relatives who hand you a paper plate loaded with all your guilty pleasures on one cheap wicker holder. Here's your dear Aunt Maria offering you an entire dessert buffet of brown sugar-laced strawberry rhubarb cobbler, blueberry pie with mounds of real whipped cream, a king-sized slice of key lime pie with a teetering tower of meringue and a "healthy" slice of watermelon with a layer of sea salt.
You try to take just one forkful of each dessert, convinced you can still maintain some semblance of your diet. And while you're talking and eating, someone's grabbed your now-empty plate, ladling on homemade vanilla ice cream with thick fudge sauce that's been sitting on the grill in a pot of hot water.
So on your guilt trip back home you feel bloated with too much food and a sinking sense of failure.
You think to yourself, "I may as well have that margarita to wash down the salsa and chips now."
Now you have the power to resist those food fetishes and avoid the guilt trip, too. Self-hypnosis allows you to take back control of your life by putting food in its proper place ... in your thoughts and in your life, too.
There are only three practical things to remember to regain your sense of balance over food.
- Begin by turning off your all of your tech gadgets: TV, music, cell phone, computer, tablet, laptop, pager, etc.
- Get into a comfortable chair -- not your bed. This is not nap-time.
- Make-believe you can feel or see soothing, golden massage oil that follows gravity, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, relaxing every tense, knotted muscle.
- Next, imagine there is a blackboard in front of your minds' eye, complete with a brand new piece of chalk and a new eraser, too. Begin to write and then erase your numbers, going down the scale from 100.
- When the numbers start to look mixed up, and you feel like you've lost your place, just put down the chalk and eraser on the shelf in front of the blackboard.
- You will see a damp sponge on that same shelf. Wash off the blackboard, and as it dries you will notice that you now have a clean slate before you.
- Now, taking up the chalk, write in large letters, "My Plan" and underline it.
- Next write:
- Food is Fuel
- Sugar + Starch= Sludge
- Water flushes Fat
Now you have the ability to enjoy a meal out or at home, alone or with others and keep food in its proper place in your life. Just as easily as you consistently choose the best fuel for your car, you will choose the best fuel for your body.
And enjoy those gatherings for the laughter and talking. Because food is just fuel!
Valorie J. Wells, Ph.D. has been in practice as a clinical hypnotherapist for nearly 20 years. Her educational background in industrial psychology, coupled with advanced hypnosis studies, creates an alternative healing environment that appeals to today's informed consumers as clients. Her determination to limit her practice to hypnotherapy has forged a secure bond between area health care providers, hospitals and their referrals. This innovative, cross-discipline approach to patient care serves as a vital link for the integrative chain of careful attention to the individual's needs. Moreover, the rapport between providers and patients encourages participation, dialogue and continuity of care. To find out more about Valorie and her work, read her blog on Red Room.