In my last entry, I discussed the clarity I had attained around how my life model just wasn’t working for me, and in that realization I came to understand that nothing outside of myself was going to fix things.  I was going to have to go even further within my sense of self and craft a new way of living.  My thoughts must change, my behaviors must be different, and in order to make this happen I have to have a fundamentally different energy.

Up until this point in my life, I thought about energy as something that we give and receive, and I still do think that, but without making a conscious decision, I was more focused on the energy outside of myself and less focused on the energy inside myself.  I kept consuming various sources of energy (food, media, relationships) and letting the frequency of those sources carry me through the day.  It was sort of like trying to be a curator, putting together an awesome collection of works for a gallery.  If I could just get the right pieces together…

Nope.

I have left that behind, now.  For the past four or five weeks, I have been focused only on what I can do to generate the energy that I want to have.  That’s the difference between being a creator and a consumer.

I started with meditation.  The research is clear at this point that there are numerous benefits to meditating, but I kept avoiding it because it wasn’t something I could just consume. I actually had to sit my ass down and do it.  Now I do.  Many people who promote meditation start their day with it, but I have found that for me it’s a great help when I end my day by meditating.  I do twenty minutes of meditation right before I go to bed, and I fall asleep faster and sleep better because of it.  And since there are important links between one’s quality of sleep and weight loss or weight gain, meditating is not only a mental practice, but a practical element of my weight loss efforts.

I stopped playing video games.  I love video games.  Modern video games are incredible entertainment.  They are also a HUGE time suck.  My favorite video game of all time is “Skyrim.” I logged over a thousand hours on that game.  Let that sink in.  That’s just one game, and I spent more hours on that game than I spent on classroom and study hours for my Master’s degree.  What could you do with a thousand hours?  If I took all the hours I’ve spent playing video games and used them on one other endeavor, I could be an accomplished piano player, or furniture maker, or be the best hypnotist in the world.  It’s classic opportunity cost (remember high school enconomics?).

I read more.  As an English major in college, I spent a lot of time reading what my professors assigned me, and it sort of burned me out on reading.  It’s a tragic irony, because the whole reason I declared as an English major was because I loved reading so much!  In fact, I didn’t read a single work of fiction for the first four years after I graduated from college.  It was the Harry Potter books that helped me find joy in reading again, but twenty-five years after college I still don’t read fiction like I did before I went to college.  The main point is that I know that I’m happier when I read for the joy of it, and so I consume less Netflix and more books.  I believe there is a difference in how we consume books.  When I read, I create the story in my mind. I see the scenes, hear the voices, so it’s not strictly consumption, but rather a creative process.  Reading more has been a good thing for my personal energy.

I use sound to tune myself.  Each of us is consciousness in a physical form.  We are energy in the form of matter, vibrating at various frequencies.  Sound vibrations have a variety of effects on human beings, the effect depending mostly on the frequency of the sound.  Low frequency sound, sometimes called infrasound, can create nausea, dizziness, and headache.  Some researchers are suggesting that high frequency sounds, sounds that we can’t even consciously perceive, could also have negative health effects on people.

Throughout my day, I use music to help me maintain the energetic state that I desire.  When I’m working at my desk, I play new age music and symphony music.  It helps me stay centered and peaceful.  When I feel my energy getting low, I put on pop music that gets me more emotionally fired up.  My heart rate goes up, I breathe faster, and I sing along.  When I go to bed at night, I play solfeggio frequencies (disclaimer: I do not play them because I believe the claims about what solfeggio frequencies can do, but simply because I like the way they sound).

My only concern, for the past month or so, has been to give my attention to how I want to feel inside, and how I can make choices that shape that inner state to one that is peaceful, loving, and connected.  I’ll focus on connection more in my next entry.

After my New Year’s confession, I took some time away from blogging and interviewing and the mechanics of the project, and I got focused on myself.  I realized that when I first started “The Fat Hypnotist” project my heart was in the right place, but my implementation was all wrong.

I initially approached the project as a way to find a solution to a problem.  Sensible, right?  But in doing this, I focused too much on the problem, and my efforts were driven by an intellectual, analytical approach.  That would be great if obesity was an intellectual problem, a simple matter of learning about calories and nutrition and exercise options, but obesity, for most people, is an emotional problem, and I wasn’t diving deeper into my emotions.  Using my brain wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be; it was time to connect, through my heart, to this life challenge.

I spent a lot of hours reflecting on my life, and thinking about all the different factors that could have contributed to my difficulties with food and weight.  More importantly, I spent a lot of time thinking about the emotional themes that came up over and over again.  What kept coming up weren’t actually emotional themes, but behavioral themes.

The first theme is that of comfort.  I consume a lot of things in order to comfort myself.  Food and drink are the primary things that provide comfort for me.  But the reality is that they don’t really comfort me; they just give me pleasure, and the pleasure never lasts, so I have to keep consuming and consuming in order to keep the pleasure going, but it never lasts.  It’s a terrible model.

The second theme is avoidance.  When I get stressed, or disappointed, or have any kind of mental state that makes me feel unworthy, I find activities to do that allow me to focus my attention on something else entirely.  Netflix, social media, video games, and other such distractions allow me to withdraw from my real world experience and dissociate from myself into another world, another story, another experience.  But those experiences are always transient; they can’t last forever.  And when they do end, not only am I faced with the same unresolved feelings and thoughts that I had before I engaged in the avoidance activity, but I now also have the new negative feelings that I just spent a lot of time being unproductive, not doing things of greater value, like building my business, or keeping my home in good shape, or exercising.

Both themes involve consumption.  In one, I consume physical matter, in the other, I consume mental material.  In both cases, I’m firing off neurotransmitters in my brain that make me feel good temporarily, but that will not last forever and eventually put me right back where I was, feeling lousy again.  This is a pattern that I’ve been in for over twenty years.

It’s just not working.

The consumer-based world we live in is one which consistently sends the message that if we have the right things, we will be happy.  If you have a good job, and a good home, and the right clothes, and a cool mobile phone, and, and, and… then you’ll be happy.  And it just isn’t true.  While there are many things that can bring me pleasure, there is nothing outside of myself that can make me happy.  This means that if I wish to be truly happy and healthy, I must reject the model of living that I have worked within for my entire adult life.  And that is sort of terrifying to think about doing.

Human beings love certainty.  We have a deep desire to know that our lives work in a certain way, and that we can continue to count on them working that way, and having that certainty makes us feel safe.  For all these years, I’ve been prioritizing the certainty that I got from consuming the things I consumed over the other things I wanted to have and experience in my life.  I’ve done it for so long, that the repercussions of my behavior now threaten that very certainty.  I don’t have certain health anymore.  I don’t trust my body like I used to in terms of physical activities.  I’m not able to maintain the energy it takes to be productive at a high level, day after day.  It’s imperative, at this point in my life, that I discard my old life model and develop a new one.

I am not saying that I’m going to give up all of my personal belongings and go live like a monk, and I’m not saying that’s what you have to do, either.  I don’t think it’s an issue of having stuff or not having stuff.  It’s an issue of what belief system you’re actively participating in, whether you realize it consciously or not. 

My new life model must be one in which I am completely devoted to the belief that happiness will only come from within myself.  Happiness is a product of how I think and behave.  So whereas before I was thinking and behaving in relation to my understanding of things outside of me (job, relationships, belongings) I must now focus completely on things inside of me (thoughts and feelings).  So the main shift is moving away from choices to consume things that will make me feel better and instead CREATE thoughts, feelings, and experiences that will bring me joy.

Creator instead of consumer.

It’s the last day of 2019.  The end of a decade.

I haven’t posted anything here since September.  That alone gives you a hint about how things have been going.

It’s been, to be honest, an abysmal failure.

This morning I weighed in at 308.7 pounds, so after seven months I’m .3 pounds lighter than when I started.  I look like shit. I feel like shit.  I’m so deeply disappointed.  But wait, there’s more.

My partner left in August.  I did not see it coming.  I was aware of some struggles in our relationship, but thought it was just the kind of stuff couples have, stuff you keep working on.  She saw it differently.  Now, for the second time in my life, I am working through the end of what I thought would be a lifelong relationship.

I tried, two different times this year, to write a book, and failed both times.  Did I mention that I was an English major in college?

(Sigh…)

There were some bright spots this year.  I did manage to go to Paris in 2019, which was a wonderful trip and something I’ll always be grateful for experiencing.  I also had the honor of performing at the National Guild of Hypnotists’ convention, which was a lot of fun, and well received by my peers.  I met a brother, in person, for the first time, who I didn’t even know existed until a couple of years ago.  I had a television appearance!

All in all, however, this year was really tough.  There was just too much time spent not doing what I know I can do.  Too much time not being the best version of myself.  There’s so much time in a year!  To have so much time, and now to have spent it all, and to feel like it didn’t produce anything of quality that’s representative of the time itself… it feels almost sinful, like I didn’t honor the gift of that time.  I understand that time is precious.  I know what a gift I have in this life.

Part of me wants to delete this whole post.  It’s such an unspoken taboo, in the profession I’m in, to admit that you’re struggling.  Hypnotists help people by coaching them and giving them strategies for success.  We’ve got the mantras and the models.  We’re supposed to have all the answers.  And yet I’m not the only fat hypnotist.

And there are hypnotists who smoke.

And hypnotists that drink too much.

And hypnotists that cheat on their spouses.

And, and, and…

Because hypnotists are human beings, and human beings struggle.  That’s okay.

Here’s the best news about 2019: it’s over.  We do love that feeling of having a clean slate, don’t we?  My clean slate has arrived, and I’m so very grateful, and I’m going to double down on ME in 2020.  How about you?  Is it time for you to do more, and have more, and live life at a level that’s better than ever?

The Fat Hypnotist isn’t just a website. Oh, no, friends. It’s much more than that.

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When I meet with clients, no matter what reason they have come to see me, I always start with an intake.  The idea is to gather all the information, that might be relevant to the client’s issue, that you can.   So, if my goal is to do the most comprehensive approach to creating optimal health and wellness for myself, I figure it makes sense to do an intake on myself.

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