Monday, August 13, 2007

You are getting skinny. Very very skinny.

We arrived back in Vermont two weeks ago. I nearly got down on my hands and knees to kiss the tarmac, but I didn't want to be mistaken for the Pope. It is bad enough being mistaken for Luciano Pavarotti.

While we waited for the moving van to catch up with us, we couch-surfed at various friends' homes, and I pursued my hobbies, like listening to music on hold and negotiating with utility companies. I also made an appointment with my hypnotist. The last time she put me under, I lost 60 pounds in a few months. Nothing else has ever had that kind of impact, so I went back.

I don't know how hypnosis works; nobody does. I've never even heard a coherent theory. All I know is it worked for me. Others in town swear by this therapist, who has helped people quit smoking, deal with grief, and other problems known to respond to hypnosis. She also does past lives regression. Ordinarily, this would put me off entirely, but I've decided it's harmless.

In the therapist's office, I chose the big black recliner armchair over the couch; if I lay down on a couch right now I'll fall asleep. We strategized for a few minutes, trying to identify the elements of the previous therapy I wanted to recapture. I also asked if she were willing to do "aversion therapy"--planting hypnotic suggestions that would make certain foods positively unpleasant, even nauseating. She demurred; she doesn't like the idea. I tried again and she refused again, and we left it at that.

Then I closed my eyes, settled back in the recliner, and got totally paralyzed. There are people who can't be hypnotized, but I'm not one of them. And then it started. I can tell you exactly what she said -- I've got a tape of the entire session -- but I don't really think the words would tell you anything. For the first 10 or 15 minutes, she said relaxing things and I relaxed. For the next 20 minutes, she spoke about food and eating and satisfaction and health and said many sensible things that I've heard before, but there's apparently something different about hearing them in a trance, whatever a trance is.

After she brought me out of the trance, she brought me a glass of water. She gave me the tape and reminded me not to listen to it while driving. I've listened a few times since; once I listened all the way through, the other time I fell asleep.

Result of all this: A calm indifference to food. Greatly increased ability, when the mind begs for food, to change the subject to something else. Restored hope.