Even if your mirror is telling you that you’re not the svelte person you once were, and even if you understand that hypnosis is a well-demonstrated way to lose excess weight, the task can feel daunting. No surprise then, that people find excuses to put off picking up the telephone and making an appointment for that first hypnotic session.
One excuse that some people employ is the Fat but Fit fairy tale. It goes like this:
“Hey, as long as I stay active, and work out, I can weigh as much as I want and it won’t matter.”
This pleasant fantasy began a number of years back when researchers at Middle Tennessee State University in the United States carried out what’s known as a meta study on weight and health. A meta study is where you collect data from a great many individual studies that have been done in the past, throw them all into the same pot, and re-analyse the results.
In this case they took the participants from several studies and divided them in two ways. First, they split people into three groups—normal weight, overweight, and obese. Then they split each of those groups into two sub-groups—physically fit and not physically fit. The outcome variable was whether or not people died before they should.
They found that if you were overweight or obese, and also out of shape, you were twice as likely to die early; but if you were fat but physically fit, your odds of dying were no different than for people who were of normal weight.
Huzzas all around. Eat all you want. Weigh as much as you like. Just get lots of exercise, and you’ll be fine.
It turned out that there was a small problem in the study’s design. Nobody thought to take age into account. When they got around to that, the researchers found that age made a big difference. Later studies showed that, while people in their twenties and thirties can get away with being overweight, or even obese, things change after that. Excess weight in middle-aged and older people leads predictably to hardening of the arteries, diabetes, cardiac disease, and premature death.
So if you have been living with the delusion that unhealthy weight doesn’t matter, you have two choices. Either find a different fairy tale to use to excuse doing nothing, or grab the phone and set up that first appointment with a competent clinical hypnotherapist.