What She Hides Behind the Compulsive Eating
Dorti sent me a very detailed email on her weight history, medical history and compulsive eating behaviour before she came to see me. Reading her email, I felt a little lost in all the information, numbers and stories; however, the email did give me a direction to form more questions during our first meeting. Healthy eating is very important for Dorti. She plans her meals, and can stay with her plans very well during the day, however, in the evenings, she’d go binge on snacks, bread and cheese.
A highly educated professional in her early 50’s, Dorti is one of those clients who do have insights into their problems. Because of that, they already know very well, if not better than I, that hypnotherapy can provide them with the answers they look for, even though at times Dorti was so desperate that she had considered liposuction prior to committing to hypnotherapy. It was the cost that stopped her. In addition, Dorti’s insight into her own problem has told her she can use a more organic treatment.
It was interesting that Dorti has quit smoking, a habit she had for 36 years, on her own just a year ago. Some words in her email caught my attention: “I have always wondered why I needed to hide behind that cloud of smoke, and I wonder now why this compulsive eating…”
I like it when clients give me directions into their issues. In the uncovering session, we found that at 6 years old, her father died – Interestingly this piece of information was not mentioned in her long background-telling email. When the 6-year-old lost her father due to a traffic accident, she lost her mother at the same time, as she went straight into depression, and barely had any time and attention to the children. The repetitive thoughts that went on in the 6-year-old girl’s mind were, “I am too small. I am too small. I can’t take care of myself.”
Eating was the only way she knew how to become “bigger”. Interestingly, regardless of her slight overweight, Dorti is still a relatively small woman. On the conscious level, she is totally fine with and enjoys being petite; yet, unconsciously, being small was threatening. That 6-year-old in her was doing what she could, periodically, to grow bigger.
We start to associate small with feeling light on the unconscious level, and feeling light means feeling better and being more mobile. As Dorti is taking flamenco dance class, she can easily relate to these feelings.
After this session, Dorti reports she only binged once during the week. Yet we may still need to find out why “hiding behind the cloud of smoke and compulsive eating”. The ideomotor signal tells the reason for these two is the same, and the word that came up was “shame”.
It goes all the way back to when Dorti was 4. Uncle was with her alone, and he was doing an “inappropriate touch”. It didn’t happen a second time, as the little girl managed to avoid some further moments that potentially she’d have with her uncle alone. However, all the time she had to “keep this quiet”. Something wrong with the uncle means something with the family. Something wrong with the family means something wrong with her. The uncle had since died by the time when Dorti came to see me. This incident was forgotten by Dorti’s conscious mind, even though growing up she never felt comfortable with this uncle.
We did forgiveness work, in which Dorti conversed with her uncle, as “to forgive is to set yourself free. Free from all the hurt and it can never affect you the same way again, so there’s no need to hide behind anything. Free to be small in size that you are, so you live the life you want to.” In hypnosis this powerful tool is called chair therapy. I am always amazed by our mind’s capacity in tapping into each other’s thoughts and feelings – We found out, as part of the cultural conditioning, the uncle grew up knowing “girls are to work for men and to serve men”. In another word, the uncle didn’t know better. That made forgiveness easier for Dorti.
Dorti instantly felt “light” after the session. We further forgave her mother, who is still alive back in Dorti’s home country. Now she’s making plans to visit her, and reunite with her brothers who are living in different countries.
Dorti was doing so well that she didn’t come back for her last session in the 5-session package until 2 months later. When she shows up for her 5th session, she has already lost 10 pounds, and she hasn’t binged once.
In our last session, we strengthened her body image and progressed to a future moment to see her reunions with her brothers and her mother. Upon her request, we also took time for some insights into her career as well as her relationship with her daughter. Her ability to see the future almost as clearly as her past gave me a lot of materials to follow up with her in the future.
The above case study is just an example of how one behaviour, such as binge eating, can have a cause that is not about eating or food at all. Hypnotherapy is the most direct way to communicate with the inner mind, which knows everything about you. Get started now with your journey by contacting me for a free consultation: 604-687-4325.