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Kay Nuyens

Creating External Health
through Internal Shifts

by Kay Nuyens

We are obsessed about weight in this country, preoccupied with an unrealistic "ideal" body image. The media has certainly been influential in promoting this extreme, thin image. And yet, thinness does not equal health. Our bodies use fuel differently and the truth is, fitness is more important than weight. Yet, weight related health issues are a serious concern in the United States. As a nation we tend to eat more and exercise less. It is imminent. Changing our thinking and behavior around food is the key to creating health.

Itís important to me to look and feel good, experiencing a healthy lifestyle, because I have a lot to accomplish before I leave this planet. I believe that the most important thing we can do for ourselves is to be aware of our relationship with food, letting our appetite prompt our eating habits, and develop a consistent form of exercise. We need lifestyle changes and techniques to deal with our emotions in a healthy way. Emotional eating is a significant factor tied into the issue of weight.

Jane and Phillip Mountrose, operators of a hypnotherapy school in Sacramento, teach classes on a Holistic Approach to eating. Jane has written a small guidebook called The Holistic Approach to Eating- Lose Extra Weight and Keep It Off For Life. Jane states that statistically, only around 1 to 2% of the people who try to manage their weight with diets are able to lose the weight and maintain it over an extended period of time. She shares that Jack Schwartz, author of Diets Donít Work, estimates it to be less than 1%. The other 99% are left with feelings of failure, diminished self-esteem, and often gain more weight! Most of us have evidenced this fact in our own life or in the circle of our family and friends. Using the holistic approach to eating, we treat the whole person. Jane states,

"The key to the Holistic Approach to Eating is to become more sensitive to the body. It shifts the focus on using food to meet the needs of the mind and emotions to feeding and nurturing the body." Jane notes that food should nourish the body rather than appease our mind and emotions.

Changing our Thinking and Behavior Around Food

Millions of Americans do struggle with real weight issues on a daily basis. Excess fat may represent an armor of protection for many overweight women. It is often used as a protection against sexuality. Sexual abuse is a common root cause that I have found in many of my own clients who struggle with intense weight issues. Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul, notes that to recognize our addictions requires inner work. "It requires that you look clearly at the places where you lose power in your life, where you are controlled by external circumstances." This is not an easy issue to address because our defenses rise up to protect us from even looking at the issue! Itís easier to place the blame on conditions outside of us. If we have an addiction to food, clearly a part of us is out of control, and that is difficult to admit. When habitual eating gets out of control, this behavior runs our lives. I agree with Gary Zukav that addiction is dealing directly with the healing of our soul. This is the work of our evolution. This is what we are here to do now. We are offered this opportunity to bring in the light, healing and releasing the old self-limiting patterns no longer serving us.

Addictions have to do with inadequacies, and it is no different with a food addict. Yet, we do get to determine how we will respond to our feeling of inadequacy. It is always a choice. Some choose to deal with painful emotions and fears by out of control eating patterns. I believe that the key is our own awareness. Therefore, treatment for out of control eating, which could create obesity, is about help with self-esteem and self-confidence. One must be emotionally ready to do the inner work at body, mind and spirit levels. People who use food as a way to deal with stress and anxiety may feel too guilty and trapped to seek help or even acknowledge the problem. I would encourage anyone with a present food addiction to reach out for help and move inward to seek an understanding of that part of you that needs emotional nourishment.

Hidden Agendas

Jane Mountrose believes, and I highly concur, that many of our reasons for eating are at the subconscious level. Once a client can identify the need for carrying the additional weight, and that part is understood, blessed and released, one is more easily able to move into their ideal weight. This is not an overnight process. Food is an emotional issue. It played a significant part in our daily ritual as children. Food may have helped us feel safe and nurtured. For me it was often used as a reward for a job well done. We must address the reasons why people eat in the first place! Recently I heard of a school district wanting to promote reading. If a child brings a book to read on a daily basis they are rewarded with a donut. The program is called "Read and Feed." What are we teaching our kids?

As a hypnotherapist, I work with clients who choose to become their ideal weight. In my book, Invitation to Greatness, I share the story of a student whom I will call Bill. Bill had participated in my self-hypnosis class, and had created a tape recording with positive affirmations for weight loss. The class had ended, and he called me to report that his own recording was not effective. Bill experienced no weight loss, and he wanted me to create an additional tape with positive affirmations. In listening to his disappointment, he used the phrase "addicted to sweets." I explained to him that he most likely had some unconscious blocks to weight loss. Through hypnotherapy, we decided to speak to that part of him that was addicted to sweets. Bill clearly saw himself as a three-year-old youngster. He was sitting on a rocking chair eating M&Mís while his mom and dad were fighting in another room. At that moment, the candy became a "comfort food" for him. Bill had created a program of sweets to nurture himself. This was certainly at the unconscious level! As an adult, Bill was able to "reparent" his little one, giving himself the love and security he needed. No longer did he need to use food to comfort himself. Bill soon reported to me that the little child was no longer in control, and he was easily able to change his eating habits. People that knew of his addiction to sweets were surprised at his new ability to make healthier choices. Weight loss became easier as he let go of the blocks and healed the wounded child within himself.

Another client, whom I will call Terra, initially did quite well listening to her tape on weight loss. She was aware of when and what she was eating and felt proud of her accomplishment. Then Terra called and said she needed another appointment. She was interested in doing the deeper, inner work to determine why she had fallen back into her old patterns. Through hypnosis, working with her "wise mind," Terra realized that her eating patterns were a way of controlling her husband. Part of her resented him and used weight as an issue to keep them apart. This information, which moved into her conscious awareness, caused some inner reflection on her part.

Out of Control Eating

Many of us use food to comfort ourselves, but unfortunately these choices often turn into negative patterns that take over our lives. This habit and addiction becomes a source of stress when one realizes that food is in control of us. The good news is that since the habit is learned, we can unlearn it regardless of the motivation that initially created it. We can learn to make healthy and appropriate food choices. Our life was not meant to be regulated by an obsessive compulsion to food or any other unhealthy habit. These destructive habits prevent us from experiencing our wholeness. They are obstacles to our connection with Source. I encourage anyone with a destructive behavior pattern to quiet the mind and go within to that safe space within you. Listen to both your "true-self" and the "false-self." Hear or imagine these two distinct voices. Realize that this limiting behavior is only a part of you. It is not who you really areÖ it is not you. We all have inner strength to call upon in need. We are never alone, and healing work is not done alone. I believe we are totally supported when we put out the call for healing!

It would be wise for someone intent on becoming their ideal weight to join with others who have a similar goal. Support groups keep us on track. You may want to investigate Weight Watchers or other weight control programs. Meeting with a nutritionist would be beneficial to learn lifestyle changes that are vital for long-term success in managing weight. We want to eat foods that nourish our body. Understanding why and when we eat is significant information to gather. Keeping a score sheet tabulating when we eat and the reasons for eating offers us some key information. Are we using food to just pacify the mind and the emotions?

Energy Work as a Self-Healing Tool

Albert Schweitzer states; "We are at our best when we allow the doctor that resides within to work."

I feel blessed to have learned Emotional Freedom Techniques as a positive, healthy way to heal issues. About 5000 years ago, the Chinese discovered a complex system of energy circuits which run throughout the body. These energy meridians are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern acupuncture, acupressure and other healing techniques. Our own Western medicine tends to focus on the chemical nature of the body. Yet, a growing number of practitioners are finding ways to use this vital energy system to help clients heal.

Dr. Roger Callahan, a dedicated psychologist, must be credited for introducing us to Thought Field Therapy. His discovery indicates that the cause of our negative emotions is a disruption in the bodyís energy system. We correct the imbalances by tapping on certain meridian points, as we focus on the disturbing emotion or circumstance. This technique works with our human energy system. Tapping on specific points allows the free flow of energy to pass through the meridians.

Gary Craig, who initially learned Thought Field Therapy, created his own version, a "basic recipe" of points, simply called the Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. Gary has an excellent web site at www.emofree.com if you wish to know more information. He lists hundreds of successful case histories using this technique. Energy psychology is a new paradigm in healing. Itís easy and efficient, creating a profound break through in specific areas of oneís life that need healing. It can be called acupressure for the emotions. This is a powerful tool for self-management. In just minutes, you can treat yourself successfully for stress, pain, emotional issues, compulsions, cravings and more. The technique is presented in my book. Phillip and Jane Mountrose have written a powerful book called, Getting Thru to Your Emotions with EFT. It can ordered through their website at www. Gettingthru.org. It includes a specific chapter on reaching your ideal weight.

Simple Guidelines for Eating

The following guidelines are ones that my husband and I have adapted for ourselves over the years. They create meaning around food for us. I offer them as suggestions.

  1. Take time to bless your food and be grateful for its sustenance.
  2. Be honest with yourself about what, why, and when you are eating.
  3. Respect your body as a temple of the Spirit, honoring the work it does for you.
  4. Eat only when you are physically hungry and stop when you are full.
  5. Be mindful of chewing. I was taught to chew each food particle thirty times!
  6. If we learn to eat for health, weight loss becomes inevitable.
  7. Exercise revitalizes us. It speeds up our metabolism and it creates health.
  8. We can eat more if we consciously limit our fat intake. Watch labels.
  9. Savor your food. Pay attention to how it feels in your body now and later.

Trigger Foods

Christine Northrup, M.D., shares how we can change our mindset around food in her book called Womenís Bodies, Womenís Wisdom. She shares that, "Your natural weight is the weight at which your body comfortably stays when you are eating according to your appetite and exercising regularly." Dr. Northrup notes that binge eaters are often deficient in the B vitamins, magnesium and chromium, which is something to consider about our vitamin intake. She suggests a structured food plan until one is able to learn the internal triggers to overeating. Christine sees most women falling into one of two broad categories of binge eating: those who crave salty foods and those who crave sweets. Avoiding these "trigger foods" allows eating to return to normal. Interestingly, Dr. Northrup claims that continuing to eat these trigger foods keep us out of touch with our emotions and our inner guidance. To experience healing, sobriety is needed. The doctor also notes that a primarily grain, bean and vegetable-based diet leads to fewer cravings. She reminds us that it is very difficult to binge on whole food!

Creating health, rather than creating the "ideal" body is a realistic and significant goal. Nutritional improvement and regular exercise revitalizes us and relieves health problems. Our state of health is a good barometer with what is going on internally. When we change ourselves inside, healing ourselves at all levels, our external world changes. We are here to heal ourselves. The time is now. Changing our thinking and behavior around food is the key to creating health.

©Copyright 2002 Kay Nuyens. All Rights Reserved. 

Invitation to Greatness Workbook by Kay Nuyens

Kay Nuyens
Kay Nuyens spent twenty-five years teaching and counseling in the public schools before buying early retirement in 1998. She has manifested a new, more joyful and fulfilling life for herself. She is now a certified clinical hypnotherapist, author, speaker, teacher and a certified JOY Practitioner, assisting struggling students to feel successful. Her goal is to empower people to find their inner connection, healing issues through awareness, compassion and the power of love. Kay offers private sessions, personal growth classes and workshops.

Her new book, "Invitation to Greatness" is a workbook for personal growth. It contains a treasure trove of exercises for inner reflection, self-expression, clearing blocks and creating new patterns. It is a personal journey to discover your inner healer, your own loving essence. Learn specific healing techniques to gain emotional freedom and peace of mind. Discover how YOU can create a successful life script! (www.changingfocus.net)


Visit Kay at Her Website:



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