Mar 16

Brain v. Body – one man’s experience of dieting. by James Bonsor

Tag: Persephone's UpdatesPersephone Arbour @ 1:51 pm

As many of you know, James has been a regular contributor to this site almost since its inception. The following letter may bring up questions in many people’s minds . . . .it also offers a totally new (to me) way of looking at the vexing aspects of dieting. Its a sort of second chapter in James’ own inimitable journey into so-called ‘ageing’.

After writing that short piece concerning my life shock, as you could possibily call it, I have been trying to sort out in my mind why it was that I was able to loose over two stone in wieght in a relatively short period of time. Being a therapist with the gift of nosiness, I embarked on a quest to unravel this phenomenon. I have never really understood diets as such, in fact to a certain extent I’m against them. Hoever, for only one reason, which is that, in the short term, they are sometimes amazing – but in the long term they ignore some very important aspects of the person that intends to loose the weight.

It is therefore understandable why so many people trying to diet have, in fact within, a relatetively short period of time, gained it again. More often than not, increasing the weight they started with.

I have just seen a programme about Gastric bypass operations and the effect it has on the brain patterns of each individual. I was amazed to hear the comment , ” The gastric bypass opperation has not only an affect on the stomach, it also has an affect on the brain wave pattern “. Why am I so amazed?It is because of the fact that this comment was even made. It implies that the stomach and the brain are in some way disconnected. And shock of all shocks, that they can communicate with each other. Do these men of science not know, that the brain has been contemplating the effects of the operation over days, weeks or even months and maybe in some cases years. In my experience the brain is, without doubt, the most important factor in any form of weight loss. The Gastric bypass operation is a life changing experience, BUT…… As some new evidence shows, even the reduction of the stomach sac can be made to return to its normal size by over eating. I can only come to the conclusion that the brain is the place, first and formost where real weight loss begins.

This doesn’t mean that losing weight is simple, it’s far from being that. The brain is, hands down, the most complicated of all of our internal workings. In my work as a hypno-therapist, (the word hypnotist is not a good one – has suggestions of men in black hats with piercing eyes making you do things that are odd – for your audience’s benefit!) I have found that the hardest client to work with – is the one that wants to lose weight. I have heard so many times the catch phrase,  “comfort eating” which is more often than not, coupled to a person that has a low self-esteem, the origins of which are as complicated as the brain itself. Trying to think positive is in itself not the answer, nor is going to the gym four times a week. It lies deep within each one of us to ask the question as to why we comfort eat, there have to be reasons that only you know. My own was that – as sad as it may seem – age was no longer on my side, or so my brain told me. But the brain often lies, it’s a fact of nature. The body on the other hand doesn’t know how to, so it suffers under the sometimes cruel hand of the brain with its promises of happiness. So, the body will cry out for freedom or at least comfort, albeit short lived. I know that for every person that joins a club for losing the extra pounds will be there carrying their own reasons with them. I’m sure those reasons wll be just as heavy as the extra weight.

I know this article doesn’t give any answers, I only wish it did. But I’ve always had a problem saying “this is how I did it and it will be the same for you “, because I know this isn’t true. So my suggestion to anyone who is truely trying to loose weight, why not give it a try, you have nothing to loose, except maybe those few extra pounds. And at the same time let go of some of those heavy thoughts concerning the past. Changing the way you feel about your life will have an effect on your eating habits, of that I’m sure.

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