This past Sunday was my first Gastric Mind Band Therapy session. Let’s just call it GMBT and save me some typing. It was wonderful! I felt so relaxed and positive afterwards.
When I arrived, Julie invited me into her cozy office. We sat in comfy chairs and she shared information about GMBT. She utilizes several different kinds of therapy, including hypnotherapy, to help address behaviors and underlying emotional issues that impede weight loss. She described the hypnotherapy as a way re-program your subconscious mind into accepting healthier behaviors. Then she asked lots of questions while she filled out a questionnaire. She asked about my childhood, adolescence, family, and relationships. She also asked about my relationship with food and exercise, my current habits with both of those, what I have weighed in the past and what my goals are for this process. I found myself really opening up and being honest, both with myself and with her. It was cathartic. I’ve been looking forward to starting this process for a couple weeks and I gave myself over to it, committed completely.
When she talked about the GMBT process, I was surprised to hear you can eat whatever you want. She emphasizes that no food is off limits, you are just encouraged to make healthier choices and control the portions, eating only when you are hungry. You can have dessert, you just should be able to eat a little of it and then move on. I liked it when she explained that you don’t have to finish a dish, either. Once you’re full, you can either get rid of it or put it away for later. That cookie you’re eating is not the last cookie you will ever have. You can have another one at another time. So there’s no need to shovel it in and then eat four of its friends!
After the discussion and the questions, Julie invited me into a separate room with a big comfy lounge chair right in the center. The lights were low and one wall was covered with a huge beach scene. Hypnosis time! I have to be honest, I’ve always wanted to be hypnotized. I sat back in the chair and Julie perched at a small desk beside me. Music played and she began the hypnosis session. First she talked me through a relaxation exercise: she instructed me to relax my feet, then my ankles, etc., until she had talked about my entire body. I felt heavy and sleepy; I may have drooled. Then she started with visualization. She talked about a path in a garden filled with flowers, lush green lawns, all this sloping down to a short set of steps that led to a beach. At the beach there were two paths, one that symbolized my current habits and one that symbolized the positive new habits I want to form. She discussed my motivations, and what my life would be like if I traveled down either path. I know I dozed off a couple times. I missed some of it. I asked her later if that meant it wouldn’t work and she said not at all; that just meant I was in a deep trance. When she concluded the hypnosis session I felt relaxed and positive and all kinds of good. I was kind of disappointed it was over. Before I left she gave me a notebook and wrote down two homework assignments for me: one is a letter to my body about what I want for it, and the other is regarding some personal baggage that I’ll spare you. We also took my “before” pictures. Wow. Talk about the cold hard truth. You guys won’t be seeing those until I have some “after” or at least “along the way” pictures to share as well. Yikes!
I’ll have three more sessions, and Julie records all four of them. She'll give me the recordings when we’re done with the therapy, and if I ever find myself falling back into bad habits I can listen to them alone at home and give myself a “tune-up.”
After only one session, I’ve already noticed a tendency to make better choices about food. Last night I had a chance to have fast food for dinner and I opted for fruit, cheese and some hard salami instead. I’m not making ALL good choices (hello, McDonald’s caramel frappe!) but I’m still doing a lot better than I was before the session. I hope to see even more improvements as we complete more therapy sessions. My next session is this coming Sunday, and I am still pumped about the process! And tomorrow I have my yearly physical. I’m glad that it was scheduled for right when I’m starting GMBT, so after next year’s physical, hopefully I’ll have some positive changes to share with you.
FTC disclaimer: Since I am blogging about the experience, the service is being provided at no charge.