Fred was a potential client who called me to ask about hypnosis for weight loss. As the conversation progressed, Fred told me that he had undergone lap band surgery. He also bragged that he went out of his way to defeat the surgery.
Lap band surgery, simply put, surgically wraps a band around the top of the stomach creating a small pouch, so that the patient feels full after eating a very small amount of food. The surgery is intended to create weight loss for morbidly obese patients who have had no luck with diets and exercise.
There are a number of strict dietary restrictions that are necessary to make lap band surgery effective. For example, lap band patients are told that they will never again be able to eat high fiber foods like beef, and certain vegetables and fruits after the surgery. That is because the fiber can clog the tiny opening in the stomach after the lap band is in place. They are also restricted from eating sugary or high-fat foods, because those extra calories can still cause weight gain. To those of you who have gone on diets, doesn’t that sound familiar?
Carbonated beverages need to be avoided too, since they can actually expand and stretch the stomach and make the surgery less effective. Of course, the idea of lap band surgery is to force people to eat much less than they normally would. Ironically, lap band surgery patients need to deliberately restrict their food choices after the surgery just as much if not more than they would have by simply going on a diet. So, not only is lap band surgery is not a magic bullet, it may require even more work and willpower after the surgery than it takes to follow a restricted calorie diet.
Fred told me that by drinking shortly after eating, the food in his stomach was flushed out, and he was able to continue eating the same amounts that he had eaten before the surgery. So Fred did not lose weight. The surgery was completely ineffective for him.
As a hypnotherapist, it struck me that lap band surgery requires just as many, or more, major dietary changes and just as much willpower as any diet for effective and lasting weight loss. And, that hypnotherapy could be just as useful to lap band surgical patients before and after the surgery, as for anyone else wanting to lose weight. Lap band patients still have to adjust and replace their lifelong patterns of overeating, and dealing with cravings for fattening foods. There is an even bigger need to resolve issues of hungerless eating in response to stress and other triggers.
Fred was hoping that hypnosis would be his magic bullet. However, hypnosis would have required real engagement, and a true desire and willingness to change the habit patterns that had created Fred’s obesity in the first place for it to be successful. Fred’s bragging about defeating his surgery let me know that he would work to defeat my efforts on his behalf, too.
I declined to take him on as a client.