Many people say they want to lose weight, but for some of my clients it’s a desperate need. These folks are quite heavy, weighing in at 300 pounds or more. Unable to make any lasting reduction, and faced with dire health consequences, they turn to EFT, often with great skepticism and a sense of hopelessness.
Imagine their surprise at feeling real relief in the very first session!
Over time I’ve developed something of a protocol for serious weight loss, and I’d like to share it here, in the hopes that it might be helpful. This can be easily adapted for tapping on oneself, though working with an experienced practitioner, at least to begin the process, is very helpful.
My first step is simply asking how the client feels about working with me on the issue. It’s surprising how much intensity there can be, before we even get started! Shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness are common, often at an 8 or 9 on our ten-point scale. It’s essential to tap away this intensity, even if you’re working on your own. Here’s an example:
“Even though this tapping isn’t going to work, because nothing has ever worked, and I feel bad about spending money (time) on this session, and I shouldn’t even have this problem in the first place, I just need to control my eating, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me, why can’t I just stop? …but I deeply and completely accept myself, and I forgive myself for having this weight problem… as best I can”
The next step is to focus on how the client feels about being overweight. Often there will be a number of feelings here, all tied together. It’s most helpful to tease them apart and work on one at a time. The really big ones are often anger (possibly directed against their own body), sadness, fear, and despair.
I find it very useful to ask “where do you feel this in your body?” for each emotion that comes up. I often include that sensation in the set up and reminder phrasing: “Even though I have this dull twisting despair in my stomach… I deeply and completely accept myself.”
My third step is to reframe the whole weight issue. I find that most weight loss clients are locked in an adversarial struggle with their body, or subconscious mind. They see their body as the enemy, out to sabotage all of their efforts to become healthier.
I point out that the intention behind overeating is actually positive. It’s a desire to comfort, to nurture, to block out stress and anxiety. And yes, it may feel like a death wish to the conscious mind, but the motivation to eat a whole box of doughnuts is essentially the same as the motivation to slim down. It’s all about self-care.
It’s important to stop fighting ourselves. Rather, we really need to reach that younger, more primitive “self” —the one who wants to make it all better with ice cream. We have to find the specific memories that contribute to his/her chronic anxiety. This is what drives the emotional overeating.
These specific memories are the “legs” holding up the weight loss “table top”, and tapping on them is the fourth step. It may seem overwhelming at this point —there may be hundreds of these memories. But because there is usually a strong theme that connects them (rejection, or lack of affection or sweetness growing up, or being preyed upon, for example) collapsing just a few will often discharge the rest.
If you are working with a practitioner, it might take several sessions to clear enough of these memories. So if you are doing the work on your own, give yourself plenty of dedicated time. Please don’t give up after five or ten minutes!
My fifth step is to take a hard look at the possible benefits of keeping the weight on —or any drawbacks to losing it. There are many common ones, including:
I can’t handle being attractive, I don’t want the attention
People will expect more of me and I can’t handle that.
My overweight friends (family) will all hate me
I’ll have to buy all new clothes
I won’t be invisible anymore
I won’t know who I am, etc.
We call these kinds of beliefs “secondary gains” and they are what drive self-sabotage. The really need to be tapped on! Sometimes it’s enough to just tap on the belief directly: “Even though my friends will hate me if I lose weight… I deeply and completely accept myself”. Other times it may be important to find where the belief began and tap on a specific memory.
Finally, I show my clients how to use EFT for cravings. Often they have a specific food that really triggers them. Tapping away cravings for chocolate, cheeseburgers, ice cream or chips, is simple and very empowering: “Even though I have this craving for __________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
You want to be persistent until you get the craving to a zero. If the craving comes back, just tap it away again. I usually save this step for last because without tapping away the underlying anxiety, a new craving will likely replace the old one, without much benefit.
Tapping away a craving is often a spectacular “one minute wonder”, but losing a lot of weight, even with EFT, can take real persistence and determination. It’s very helpful to have a strategy like the one above and some kind of daily tapping regimen, perhaps over a three-week period. I think you’ll find using EFT much more rewarding and successful than any diet you’ve ever tried!
Contact via www.tappingthematrix.com