Why are you eating that?  If you are supposed to be dieting to shed that ugly fat, why did you put the donut in your mouth? Why did you grab candy from the dish on your co-workers desk? You know it won’t help, but it seems you can’t help it either. Furthermore the co-worker with the candy is thin and never seems to eat her own candy.

The Battle Is Real

Guess what? You aren’t imagining it, the battle is real. It really is hard to diet and your body is fighting you! That’s right; you are a victim of your own brain and genetics and maybe even programming. Every dieter I work with knows how to cut out calories and increase exercise. They all know the formula to shedding ugly fat and maintaining a healthier body.

fats are enhanced

Our taste buds have been genetically engineered to crave high-calorie, high-fat foods because we used to need that for energy—hunting, gathering, exploring the continent, etc. Now we’ve created food that tastes even richer than nature’s, which makes kale a hard sell when compared to a loaded pizza.

The “naturally thin” individuals (NT’s) are blessed with a great genetics. NT’s metabolize at a higher rate furthermore, they aren’t tempted by the same treats a dieter is. If a person on a diet ate the same amount of food as the NT’s it would still be too much food to lose weight. While they fat shame the dieter they also believe the dieter is weak. They are wrong. When we are dieting, our awareness of food, particularly fatty foods is heightened.

Are You Stuck?

So, what can the poor dieter do? Let’s circle back to my original question, why are you eating that? When you catch yourself in the act of eating off diet, stop and ask yourself why? Is there an emotional component? Are you resentful that everyone else can eat the goodies at a party and you can’t? Are you eating for emotional reasons? Does your body need fuel?

Amnesia eating is often triggered when watching night time television and all the food related commercials. After a long hard day, we settle in to relax and reward ourselves. Often we have eaten dinner; still the habit of rewarding with food and the constant barrage of food commercials triggers us to find a snack. Due to fatigue, we eat the easiest choices, prepackaged goodies. Eating those foods triggers the reward center of the brain and we are lulled into a false sense of temporary comfort. In order to help change that habit, I encourage finding something active to do during commercials. Personally, I have a medicine ball and I work with it during commercials. I also enjoy a warm beverage when tempted to nibble.

Hypnosis To The Rescue!

Through hypnosis for weight loss we can level the playing field, that is, we can give you less desire for the foods that have become your nemesis. While I am not a fan of making a favorite food disgusting (because I believe a determined mind will find a way around that) it is possible to give you better control over what you choose to eat. Hypnosis can also be used to amp up the metabolism, more like that of an NT. The mind body connection is powerful and using it to your advantage is exactly what hypnosis is all about.

Hypnosis For Weight Loss

If you are struggling with your eating habits, put down the goodies and pick up your phone to call and ask me how I can help you achieve your weight goals!


Hypnosis On Trial, The Jury Of Public Opinion

Recently, poor publicity has been spread about hypnosis. A case here in Florida involving a principal who used hypnosis on students and teachers has been in the news. The families of three North Port High School students who died after being hypnotized by former Principal George Kenney will receive $200,000 each from the Sarasota County School District under a settlement agreement unanimously approved by the School Board at its meeting last Tuesday night. The Board stated that they just want to put the events behind them.

The $600,000 settlement closes a year- long case that began after former North Port High School Principal Kenney admitted he hypnotized 16-year-old Wesley McKinley a day before the teenager committed suicide in April 2011. A subsequent investigation found that Kenney hypnotized as many as 75 students, staff members and others from 2006 until McKinley’s death. One basketball player at the school said Kenney hypnotized him 30 to 40 times to improve his concentration.

The case was settled without going to trial, but has raised concerns about the safety of hypnosis. Hypnosis…the very word conveys dramatic images. The public either imagines a strange character waving a pendulum or a group of silly people on stage acting like ducks. Both of these images imply that hypnosis can be used to control your mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one can ever use hypnosis to control another person. The individual gives their permission when they are being hypnotized. In fact all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and it is an incredible tool for managing the mind.


“Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed, you don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis,” experts at the Mayo Clinic write. “You generally remain aware of and remember what happens under hypnosis.”

The human mind and its processes have always seemed mysterious and fascinating, but learning the nature of the mind has become the province of experimental science only during relatively recent times. “Hypnosis is a mental state, not, per se, a treatment,” says Dr. David Spiegel, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. “People think it is a means of taking away control, but it is actually a means of enhancing control over perceptions such as pain, anxiety, habits, stress.”

More and more we have become aware that there is a tremendous connection between what happens in our minds and how it affects our bodies. Most of our serious diseases are thought to have some contributing mental and emotional factors. There is research on creating wellness that includes beginning with our minds and emotions. Visualization techniques are being widely used to help fight disease and its’ symptoms. There are also many non-therapeutic uses of hypnosis for instance sales, public speaking and sports that enhance performance and improve success.

It is in some ways unfortunate that this case never came to trial. Hypnosis was tried in the court of public opinion and was found guilty by association. It does not mean that hypnosis caused these events. I have many, many clients like you, dear reader who has used hypnosis to successfully make changes. I love the many ways that hypnosis can benefit any and every one! Whether it is to stop smoking, shed those extra pounds or overcome fears and phobias, hypnosis is a wonderful tool to have.

Because of the publicity, I have had many inquiries from individuals and even concerned colleagues. People who were afraid that this would send hypnosis back to the dark ages. I believe that this has opened up a dialogue that will help everyone to better understand just how easy it is to make powerful and positive strides in life with the use of our own minds!


How Do I Know If I Am Under?

In my email recently was a note from an individual who wanted to know more about hypnosis and whether it could help them pass a test. It seems they have tried several free audios online and didn’t feel secure that it was working. There is an upcoming test of great importance to this individual and a recent test during which he froze up and couldn’t answer even the easy questions. Now studying had become a challenge as thoughts raced and fear began to take over.

This letter struck a chord with me; I have allowed fear to rule in my past. Fear stinks. When it interferes with our ability to move forward, it really stinks. Thoughts begin to race and it seems like words begin to blur on the page. Then a repetitive pattern of the “I can’t’s” seems to take up residence in our thoughts. This can become a spiral down the rabbit hole.

Hypnosis can and does help with test anxiety; I have assisted many with that issue. In fact, I went in to a local college math class and worked with the whole group prior to the final exams and the teacher informed me the class as a whole saw improved test scores.  The reason I bring up the group is significant to the individual who wrote me, as his initial question was how he would know the hypnosis was working. He has tried audios and couldn’t tell if he was under or if there was any effect. He wondered how does hypnosis feel? He was expecting to sleep or at least feel something. This wide group of students had a variety of responses to trance, some felt like they were daydreaming, some felt like they had napped before the test and others figured it was just a chance to use their imagination, still all benefited and it showed in the grades.

People often ask me if hypnosis works. They want to know how effective hypnosis is.

effective hypnosis

Do I really need to say anything more?

Hypnosis is a natural state, one that we experience daily. So, while people are often wary of hypnosis, thinking that it is an altered state and one is out of control, quite the opposite is true. You are in control, in fact it it is an intense state of focus. Driving a familiar route to work is a common example of operating on autopilot, without thinking about it.

Although heart rate and respiration may slow down, this is due to the relaxation involved in the “induction”process,often used progressive relaxation. Those symptoms are not the hypnotic state itself. Research into the hypnotic state has shown that there are different brainwave levels that are involved.

According to science.howstuffworks.com, “The most notable data comes from electroencephalographs (EEGs), measurements of the electrical activity of the brain. Extensive EEG research has demonstrated that brains produce different brain waves, rhythms of electrical voltage, depending on their mental state. Deep sleep has a different rhythm than dreaming, for example, and full alertness has a different rhythm than relaxation.”

Understanding how natural hypnosis is

Understanding how natural hypnosis is

It never fails that when I tell people how I make my living—as a hypnotherapist hypnotizing people slim—they inevitably ask: Does it work; does hypnosis really help with weight loss? My answer usually brightens their eyes with something between excitement and incredulity because most people don’t realize that adding trance to your weight loss efforts can help you lose more weight and keep it off longer. Although hypnosis predates carb and calorie counting by a few centuries, I often hear from desperate individuals that this is their last hope.  Because of stage and screen portrayals of hypnosis as mind control or at the very least parlor tricks the benefits of hypnosis has long been misunderstood.  It isn’t until everything has been exhausted and people are feeling out of control that most people are willing to try hypnosis. Once they realize their goals, I hear “I should have called you first.” If only people understood that hypnosis is a non-invasive tool that can be used for focus and reaching goals.  Hypnosis is also helpful in uncovering and discovering underlying, unconscious emotional factors that cause overeating or making poor food choices when stressed, anxious, bored, depressed, and so forth. Once these emotional eating factors are made conscious, hypnosis is then used to assist changing to more positive motivators and better choices. I understand that most people really want to do the right thing. They start diet after diet only to go back to old unhealthy habits when faced with the demands of everyday life. Most of my clients know every calorie or carb count, what exercises burn the most fat, etc. Ask anyone on the street about his eating or exercise habits and chances are, he’ll tell you he knows he should eat better and get more exercise, but … and they follow up with a litany of excuses. I hear excuses every day, yet those excuses aren’t changing the scales. When people call me about hypnosis for weight loss, I explain that I have several protocols I can follow. The Virtual Gastric Band has a huge 95% success rate according to test groups (my success has been similar). There are other methods that can be used as well, depending upon the needs and goals of the individual. There are as many ways to approach hypnosis for weight loss as there are people needing to make the change. My job is to find the proper fit for you, your job is to show up and be honest.


There are also as many excuses for not committing to change as there are people. I have heard many of these excuses, repeatedly. It’s always easy to come up with reasons to avoid getting started with a healthy eating or weight-loss plan. But all too often, these reasons are really just excuses. “I don’t have time to cook or exercise, I have too much stress to keep on a diet, it’s in my genes, I travel too much, etc.”

April 16 (the day after Tax Day, April 15) has become a special day to set aside for Americans to become aware of just how stressed they may have become! Everyone feels stressed from time to time and if left unchecked, it tends to be a real happiness killer as well as a threat to your health. This makes it harder for us to live joy-filled lives. Stress has also been reported to lead to a number of major health problems, ranging anywhere from anxiety or severe depression to physical symptoms such as a mild case of acne to life-threatening heart attacks. It is easy to see why it is so vitally important to keep life’s major stressors in check.

Scientists report that psychological stress may exact its toll, at least in part, by affecting molecules believed to play a key role in cellular aging and possibly, disease development.  Anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence has have suggested that chronic stress can take years off your life. Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system as a person may use unhealthy behavioral coping strategies to reduce their stress, such as drinking and smoking. It is easy to see why it is so vitally important to keep life’s major stressors in check.
Enough of the dire news and warnings, I don’t need to stress you out more.
Instead, here are some quick tips for changing into a stress free zone for the day and at the end a link  to 3 free audios I have available for you to reduce your stress!
  1. Focus On The Now

So many people live their entire lives in yesterday or tomorrow. The truth is, however, that there is only the Now. Focusing on this moment, right now, provides a wonderful escape from the disappointment of what once was and the fear of what might be, leaving stress stuck in a time warp. (You do remember the Time Warp, right?)

2   Give Yourself A Pep Talk
Sometimes a good talking to is all you need to keep stress at bay. Maybe it is about time you gave yourself a pep talk, reminding yourself what is right with your life instead of dwelling on what’s wrong. Ask yourself how you got so lucky to have a roof over your head, food on the table and the opportunity to experience so much each day.

3.     Get the Giggles
Laughter really is the best medicine. Watch a comedy, share a funny joke, or go to a card shop and read funny cards. I always told my sons to find a reason to smile and laugh as they walked out the door. Maybe you can do the same, then share whatever it is, give yourself time for laughter each and every day.

4.     Use Self-Hypnosis
A still mind is a stress-free mind, so take a deep breath, quiet your thoughts and let the stress melt away. Even ten minutes done daily for the next 30 days will do wonders for releasing stress in your life.

5.     Keep a Happiness Journal
Starting today, spend a few minutes reflecting on the day you just experienced and list five things about the day that delighted you. Review that list when tempted to return to the old stinking thinking track.

6.     Lend  A Helping Hand
Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is by providing relief to someone else. Placing your focus on others needs takes the focus off your own challenges. This will lead to less rumination and therefore less stress. So look around you, see who needs a hand up and offer yours.

7.     Listen To A Hypnosis Audio
I have three audios I have created that are free for you. Just stop by anytime to listen. Share them with your friends, let’s get this stress-less party started! Stress Free Audios

There seems to be a tremendous increase in the number of movies and shows about Superheroes. The idea of having extraordinary powers captivates the young and the old alike. If you think about it, the concept is as old as man. Consider Greek mythology or the Journey of the Fool that is portrayed in the Tarot. We love a good story of triumph over struggles. We see many of the superheroes as modern day Greek gods, (of secular life – otherworldly figures able to tackle the problems of this human world).
Like the gods of Greek mythology, superheroes are often flawed. (Some may argue that we need them to be flawed.) A part of their appeal is that we can relate to them, despite their powers. I personally have enjoyed many of the Marvel characters (no offence to DC comic fans) beginning with the X-Men and it’s metaphor for prejudices, Thor’s having to leave behind a life of privilege until he becomes humble, Captain America who’s strength is his compassion before he has physical strength and the soon to be explored in cinema Scarlet Witch (Yea for a female hero!).
We are drawn to their backstories, the apparent lessons they must learn or hardships overcome in order to become the superhero. At their best, superhero origin stories inspire us and provide models of coping with adversity, finding meaning in loss and trauma, discovering our strengths and using them for good purpose. (Wearing a cape or tights is optional.) There is something about the vulnerabilities they display that help us accept our own.
There is a growing trend amongst therapists to begin to use the Superheroes as part of their therapy. I have found the rich visuals of the transformations and adventures useful in some of my hypnosis sessions. It has certainly been an opportunity for me to get to better know some of my younger or geekier clients. (I do love me some geeks!) All of this leads me to think about some of the lessons I have learned through the stories of these characters. So here are 9 lessons I have learned from Superheroes.
1.     Life has ups and downs. You can overcome one obstacle only to discover another one. Enjoy your victories, but understand you must always keep up the fight!
2.     Not everyone will see you for who you are. Clark Kent is not recognized as Superman, nor is Peter Parker as Spider-Man or Bruce Banner as the Hulk.
3.     Be proud of who you are. The X-men were misunderstood in spite of the good they did for mankind and not seen as human. How many groups can claim the same prejudice whether it is about their skin color, sexual orientation, gender, culture, religion or any other reason?
4.     With great power comes great responsibility. Peter Parker chose to use his ability to scale any height to work for the good of all, rather than make a personal profit.
5.     We can all make a difference. The lesson of Batman is this: you don’t have to be born with super powers to be a hero. Bruce Wayne can’t fly, he’s not part god, he doesn’t transform when he’s angry. He just fights bad guys. “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me,” Batman says in 2005’s “Batman Begins.” Even fractured people can make a difference.
6.     Don’t be paralyzed by self-pity. Disabled? I don’t think so. Professor Charles Francis Xavier is a paraplegic, but he possesses one of the most powerful mutant minds of all time.
7.     Don’t focus on your weaknesses.  Superman let his secret out to the world regarding Kryptonite. It became the most effective tool used against him. Focus on your strengths instead of your “kryptonite”.
8.     Everyone has a dark side.  We all have our past or our “secrets” that we fear will someday be exposed and ruin us. The Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) went through many changes in character before she eventually became a positive force in the Avengers.
9.     Capes are cool.  I loved them as a kid and I still wouldn’t mind running around with a cape flying behind me.


I’d love to know what your thoughts are on the Superheroes and maybe even some lessons you have learned that I left out here. Please, next time you have a little spare time, imagine which Superhero you might be, close your eyes and imagine putting that ability or talent to good use. Then breathe in the thrill of adventure in your life or, just don a cape and fly!
In January 2013, Lena Redding walked into my life. It was a slow and courageous walk. In the year that followed, her steps became lighter, quicker and more determined. I have had the great joy and privilege to be a part of that journey. Allow me to digress in order that I may explain.
Lena was recently featured in an article in the Personal Best section of the Tampa Bay Times. Writer Irene Maher shared Lena’s new found love of Zumba and how she has made the decision to inspire and motivate others to becoming fit and healthy no matter how large they are. (Lena began her own journey at 324 pounds.) However, that is only part of the story. Lena’s journey merged with mine when she decided to undergo the Virtual Lap Band™ program.
Lena said, “I always knew I needed to lose weight, no doubt, ‘cause I had tried many times, but my chiropractor had a very stern, but loving talk with me.” Dr. Scott Coletti spoke about the serious issues she would be facing in a 5’2” frame that was carrying 324 pounds.  Although she had been a patient of the practice, it was not the doctor she would normally have visited with, which allowed this talk to stand out even more in her mind.  Lena made the decision to turn this weight around for good.
Lena has tried numerous diets and programs throughout her life, and says that she, like most heavy people, knows all the tricks and tips to weight loss.  She had tried the appetite suppressants in the past and knew they didn’t work for her. She decided to embark on a journey that included hypnosis. Earlier in her life she had ‘fallen” into using a trance state and discovered that it really worked for her. It helped her transition from knowing what to do into actually doing it.
Lena chose to go through a program known as the VirtualGastric Band™ (VGB). This is a procedure of hypnotherapy developed to train the brain to sense that the stomach has been reduced. The sensation is similar to the actual Gastric Band (Lap Band) surgical procedure where a band is placed around the top portion of the stomach creating a small pouch. This creates a feeling of being fuller with less food consumed and significant weight reduction is achieved. The VGB procedure is natural, safe and non-invasive.

Lena was from day one an exemplary client. One of the agreements in the program is that a client will purchase an item of clothing in their desired size. This is to be placed where it will be seen daily. I am insistent that it is something new, past purchases represent past failure.  She not only bought the dress she wanted, she named it. She has kept the outfit wherever she was around her home and even put a picture of it on her cellphone wallpaper to view when away from home. Lena and her outfit have had some serious conversations when she has been tempted to cheat.

Beyond the weight, she says that her biggest change has been that she is now a person who likes to move, she would rather walk and talk then sit and talk. She prefers to be active over going out to snack with friends. Shopping is easier (she no longer needs her friend along to tie shoes when she tries them on), she can check her calendar when invited to go to an event instead of checking on the distance she would have to walk and the size of the seats available. She also believes she is more relaxed with the help of hypnosis, she states, “things aren’t as serious as they used to be”. Even when things are bad her attitude has become “can we solve it and how? If not, it is what it is.”
Although Lena has had tremendous support from Margo, the same friend who used to tie her shoes and she knows she can call her if feeling tempted to get the reminders of why she is doing this. However, not all friends are the same and so Lena believes that you have to be able to walk this journey on your own, because at the end of the day, it is only you who will step on that scale. With as much weight as she needed to shed, there were some moments of temptation and self-doubt. That is when she would listen to her hypnosis audios from the sessions we shared.    
I asked Lena what she liked best about the Virtual GastricBand™ program. This was her response: “What did I like best about the hypnosis sessions?
I imagined the session would focus on what I ate and how much exercise I did.  Boy was I wrong. The sessions were not just focused on what I ate and how much exercise I did or didn’t do that week.  Of course we did discuss those things. However during the session you asked questions like what’s going on?  With that being said, it was up to me to decide what I wanted/needed to talk about.  You were more like a facilitator or guide.  My answer would generate more questions on your part.  By you asking the probing questions we’d get to what the actual issue was. Then another question to help me think about how I could handle the issue/stress in the future.  
Stress eating was an issue for me so if I determined how to handle the stress better it was more likely I’d do it.  That was the key I determined ways to solve my own problems. The sessions worked so well because I was an active participant.”
After Lena dropped some Zumba flyers by his office, Dr. Coletti called Lena to congratulate her on the changes she has made. She said it was a great 15–20 minutes with a “whole lotta love”. Lena has invited me to join in her Zumba classes and I can attest to her energy in those classes. 

When asking Lena if she had any final words for others who want to drop weight and have tried all the usual ways. Her response was, “Overweight people have tried so many things, so why not try stepping outside the box?” She says that feeling the band in her stomach and working on her reasons for overeating have changed her for life!
To attend one of Lena’s Zumba classes, find her schedule here: Lena Reddings Zumba
UPDATE: The fine folks at Zumba found this article and suggested that I could add a link to their coupons. To quote them, “who doesn’t love to save?” Here is the link…. Coupon Codes Zumba
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