The image of a swinging pocket watch whilst someone chants, ‘you are getting very sleepy’ is what springs to mind when I think about hypnotherapy. Well, either that or the ‘look into my eyes’ man from Little Britain. Although, if hypnotherapy could assist in cracking my chocolate and cake cravings once and for all, I’m more than willing to give it a go. Like most people who are constantly trying to lose weight but find themselves falling at the first hurdle, I am always looking for something that absolves me from any kind of responsibility. “I’m just big boned”, “I have a slow metabolism”, “I’m too busy to exercise”. So if there is some deep rooted reason why I can’t put down a bag of Maltesers until I’ve eaten them all, then I’d love to hear it. And that is how I found ProTom Fitness, a company that aims to exercise both mind and body, and ended up in a chair in a house in Redland with hypnotherapist Liz Vincent.
Tom Lakos, owner of the company, based in Clifton, said in his experience, diet and personal training sessions alone rarely work with some individuals.
He offers personal training sessions combined with exercise classes and hypnotherapy to help his clients conquer their demons, helping them to get their mind and emotions right first. So I started with a personal training session with Tom, a former PE teacher, who took me through a detailed assessment before putting me through some innocent-looking but gruelling exercises. Part of the package also includes going along to kickboxing classes three times a week to add to the calorie burning, and then two sessions of hypnotherapy. Thankfully there was not a pocket watch in sight when I started a session with Liz. Instead I felt totally relaxed as she helped me to sink into a dream-like state. As her gentle voice talked me through associations I have with food, I found myself talking about childhood experiences I had long forgotten. Happy occasions baking in my grandparent’s kitchen, colourful wrappers from chocolate bars, arguments at the dinner table and even summer holidays.
Food and memory associations
Liz offered suggestions as to why I might associate food with these memories and used a technique called Theta Healing to help me give new identity to certain foods. The next week I pressed my nose against Thorntons as a test. Although I could appreciate how nice chocolate tastes, I didn’t feel the urge to stuff my face. Could this actually be working? I tried a coffee shop next and again I really didn’t fancy the carrot cake that had seemed so appealing the week before. A month later with boxing classes and personal training, I feel stronger and fitter. I feel I understand why I eat certain foods now, which definitely helps. I might still be tempted by the odd biscuit but surely that’s better than the whole packet.
Contact ProTom for diet and exercise assistance.