I finally did it – yesterday I went to see a hypnotist.
Like so many women, I have had varying difficulties maintaining my desired weight over the years; there was one period, about twenty years ago, when I was even seriously overweight. I managed to overcome that, and it never got that bad again, thank G-d. A little thyroid problem kept me skinny for several years, but when that was cured (I fought them tooth and nail, but the doctors insisted), so was the skinniness. Typical.
So the pounds would sneak up on me every now and then – come off for a while, and slowly but surely return. Three years ago, I came to a point of near despair, when I was feeling much too heavy and yet, somehow, powerless to do anything about it. Hashem guided me to a book called, “I Can Make You Thin” by Paul McKenna, a world-famous hypnotist who began his career as an entertainer, but now has veered almost totally (?) into the therapeutic field. “You can?”, I thought to myself, “well, do it then, buddy, because I sure as helicopter can’t!” And he did.
The book contains a few simple, sensible rules for eating, but the accompanying CD is what does the trick. Most of us know how, or what, to eat – it is the desire and will-power to keep doing so that is lacking. The CD, which one listens to once a day, is what provides that missing link between theory and implementation. In short, Mr. McKenna hypnotizes you and your body into doing the right thing. Thirty-five pounds melted away over six months without the slightest deprivation or difficulty. At 5’8” tall I was a size 10; life was a happy operetta, and heavenly choirs were doing their thing.
But it gets tiresome to listen to any CD, however excellent, every single day of your entire lifetime, and this summer I realized, to my unmitigated horror, that about half of that lost weight was back on again. Insidiously, the pounds had crept up on me, behind my back, one by one, probably under the cover of darkness. Enough already.
The hypnotist (Jewish, not religious) came well recommended, with many certificates and awards to his name. I figured that what Mr. McKenna could do with a generic, sue-proof CD, this magician should be able to accomplish in a more targeted, “once-and-for-all” manner. The hypnotist himself was very confident. He’s the guy.
For reasons of yichud regulations (the laws that prohibit a man and a woman from being alone together), plus a general queasiness at the thought of visiting a hypnotist in his lair and placing myself under his influence without an ally at my side, I asked my Trusty Friend to accompany me. (Yes, I know – strictly speaking, one female chaperone is insufficient to nullify the yichud situation, but we also left the front door open. What do you want from my life?!) When I called my TF I said that I had a request of her that was a little bit unusual, and that I would understand if she balked. Then I explained what I needed. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world!” was her eager reply.
To make a long story only marginally shorter, the hypnotist turned out to be one chatty chap, certainly not queasiness-provoking, and he finally got down to business. First there was The Test, to determine if I was a receptive subject. At his prompting, one arm was supposed to become heavy and sink down; the other to float up in the air. I failed miserably – nothing moved either way – but he comforted me and said we could still achieve excellent results.
- You are very highly motivated to become slimmer – much, much slimmer
- You will get full after only a very small amount of food
- The less you eat, the happier you will be
- Junk food and sugar will make you very, very nauseous
- You have a very strong will-power, and a tremendous amount of self-control
These were some of the main messages that were transmitted to my subconscious personality, against a background of new-age music which I assume was there to drown out any other distracting noises. I was also informed that henceforth, I would remove the skin from all poultry. Good stuff, all of it, but I was waiting in vain for that “altered state of consciousness” that you hear so much about. I didn’t think I was going to get all in a trance and start to levitate, but I had also not expected to feel as normal as if I had been sitting in a staff meeting.
It was over almost before it had begun – I don’t think it could have been more than fifteen minutes – and then the chatting took over again. By now TF was rolling her eyes at me. The hypnotist said that one, or possibly two, more sessions should fix what needed fixing, and that I should give him a call in a week. As TF and I got in the car again, I think we both had a sense of anti-climax. "Who is he to tell you to take the skin off the poultry?", she asked, with a bit of an edge in her voice. Then again, I have never experienced live hypnosis before, and my expectations may have been unrealistic. We shall see what happens – and I will surely keep you posted.
I am sorry to say that I had some chocolate today, and it didn’t make me nauseous. I felt great! But maybe I will lose – and keep off – those pounds anyway, because I have a tremendous amount of self-control.