By J. R. Garrett
A client, I’ll call her, “Tina,” came to me frustrated with the lack of progress with her weight issue. She was obese, and had been dieting and working out intensely for six weeks with nothing much to show for her efforts.
The day before she came to me, she had experienced a confrontation with her older sister, “Liz,” who was a competitive body builder and personal trainer.
She had asked Liz about what to do about sore knees from doing leg presses and got a lengthy lecture about her past eating habits. Then Liz chastised her for her past food choices, as far back as when they were young children, and criticized her for allowing her son to also become overweight.
The statements were precluded with, “I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but…”
My client was very hurt by Liz’s unsolicited criticism and became defensive and angry at Liz’s response. Liz also responded with anger and defensiveness, which created a huge, ugly confrontation.
By the time Tina expressed her feelings to me, she was ready to give up on the idea of ever being thin and fit, and felt she just had to accept her sister’s judgment. The fact that she could not remember what she had for breakfast, but Liz claimed to remember what she had eaten as a child 35 years earlier, made her incredibly self-conscious.
She felt shame at being told to stop blaming genetics for her weight issues (they came from a long line of large people) and was hurt at being told that she and her son were fat simply because they ate too much.
My client was angry, but even more, she felt embarrassed and defeated.
She carried intense guilt about her teenage son’s weight issues and was horrified that he seemed to be following in her overweight footsteps. The confrontation with her sister confirmed her guilt, and had robbed her of her energy and momentum to continue working out and following a diet program.
In tears, she was ready to give up.
The decision to work with me came, not directly to resolve weight issues, but from visions she had the afternoon after the confrontation. She was so disturbed by these visions that she knew instinctively that there was more going on than simple overeating.
Tina had thrown herself into her bed in tears after the confrontation with her sister. She dozed, but didn’t sleep. While in what she described as an Alpha, or self-hypnotic, state, she envisioned herself as an infant, with Liz, who was three years older, standing by her crib.
Liz reached through the bars on the crib and pinched Tina hard on her arms and legs, intentionally making Tina cry. Her sense was that Liz was intensely jealous of the new baby, and wanted to hurt her for disrupting her life, and Liz’s relationship with their mother.
Tina then had repeated visions of her sister covering her mouth and nose with her hand, trying to suffocate her. Several visions surfaced of Liz placing a pillow over Tina’s face, which caused Tina to struggle with panic.
These visions startled and terrified Tina, and was the main reason she decided to seek my help.
Tina has studied hypnotherapy and understands that these visions may or may not be “real” events. She agrees that it doesn’t matter to the mind if they actually happened or if they are simply a creation of the psyche to explain her feelings about her sister. The fact was, they felt very real to her, and that was what mattered.
Tina shared that a few years earlier her mother had told her that Liz had always been jealous of her. Liz continues to have jealousy issues to this day. Tina’s mother told her that she was very cute and outgoing as a child, while the older sister was sullen and shy.
This outgoing, happy attitude caused Tina to get most of the attention of guests and family members, and earned her the nickname, “Bubbles.”
Tina also had beautiful long white-blonde hair that caught the attention of almost everyone who saw her. Her older sister, on the other hand, had thin, wispy hair and was nearly bald until she was ten years old.
When Tina was about five, her mother, exasperated by the older sister’s jealousy, cut off Tina’s beautiful hair, making it extremely short to match her sister’s unattractive locks.
As they grew, Liz became obsessive about her body and her looks, and was always dieting and exercising.
Tina was involved in many other activities and paid little attention to her body until, as an older teen, she began gaining weight.
As adults, Tina admired and looked up to Liz, and felt pride when cheering for her at her Liz’s body building competitions. Tina, who was becoming more and more obese, also felt intense shame while attending these events, since they were so focused on looks and physique.
We began our EFT work with the tapping statement:
“Even though I am overweight, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
In three rounds of tapping, her SUD Level of Intensity number between 0-10 went from a high 10 down to a 2. Tina yawned repeatedly during the tapping.
“Even though I have the memory of Liz pinching me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I have the memory of Liz smothering me with her hand, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I have the memory of Liz smothering me with a pillow, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though Liz tried to kill me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though my mother cut my hair to make Liz feel better about herself, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though Liz hates me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I hate Liz, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I have to be diminished to make Liz feel okay, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I have to be diminished or Liz will kill me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I have to stay fat to make Liz feel okay and not kill me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though it is my fault that my son is fat, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
The yawning continued, and Tina complained of being incredibly tired. She wanted to stop several times. However, we continued until there was no charge regarding thoughts of her sister.
Then we tapped reframes for the following:
“I choose to be thin and fit.”
“It is safe for me to be thin and fit.”
“It is easy for me to make good choices and to follow my plan to be thin and fit.”
Tina was now obviously exhausted.
She said she just couldn’t do any more, then left and went straight to bed. She reported that she slept though the night and into the next day, for a total of 13 hours of sleep.
The next day, she was stunned to find herself relaxed and content.
She had little or no emotional reaction to thoughts of her sister, and resumed her weight loss plan with optimism and vigor.
She has agreed to tap daily for any discomfort that may arise from thoughts of her sister, and to tap for accepting a new, thinner self.
She has released a lifetime of fear and pain regarding her sister, and now has the tools and confidence to achieve her weight loss goals.