Emotional Eating Q & A with Examiner.com
Examiner.com journalist Betty Russell poses her questions to therapist Sally Baker about her work to transform emotional eating into successful weight loss.
Why do you have a passion for helping people lose weight?
The mind-body connection informs my work as a therapist, and when working, I am working with a client I tend to focus on the signals from their body to reveal and often, in turn, resolve their sub-conscious issues.
Carrying excess weight for many people is the outcome of a survival decision they made when they felt powerless to defend or define themselves in any other way. Being overweight is never just about food or lack of willpower.
Can you describe the tools you use to help people change?
I work with three main therapy tools. Originating in the US, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has been around now for over 25 years. It is easy to learn as a self-help tool and can be applied to alleviate a myriad of negative emotions. The technique involves tapping with two fingers on various points mainly on the face, and upper body. It works on the same energy lines, or Chi meridians as acupuncture, the traditional ancient Chinese medicine.
The second core therapy involves listening and interacting with a selection of short audio tracks. The listener taps with the fingers of both hands to a complex sequence of three rhythms.
Due to how the brain processes information, and in particular memory this therapy works wonderfully to reduce and even erase the emotional connection between negative feelings from memories, or events from the past whether they are real or imagined.
The third technique is Hypnotherapy which during a period of intense guided relaxation allows the subconscious mind to accept positive suggestions to support change and to help align the subconscious mind with the weight loss success that a client desires for themselves without triggering self-sabotaging behaviour.
How did you arrive at using this combination of therapies?
I came to use this combination of therapies with my therapist colleague and co-writer, Liz Hogon. We initially began working with EFT, and then hypnotherapy.
It feels as though we have had to explore a lot of modalities and techniques that are out there to ultimately find the most powerful and effective tools for successful weight loss.
What are the seven steps people can take to control their weight that you mention in your book?
We view the seven steps for people to resolve their emotional eating to be similar to the layers of an onion. We recommend people begin at step 1 in the book and work through to step 7 without skipping steps, or tackling them out of order. In this way, the journey begins with the present and unfurls the multi-layers leading to letting go, acceptance, and stepping up to a new way of living and loving oneself.
The seven steps are:
Acknowledging the present
Comfort and stress eating
Setting and achieving your goals
New day, new dawn
What do you have to say to anyone who thinks this is just another thing that won’t work for them?
By the time a person seeks help with their weight loss from a professional therapist, they are already experienced at every diet from Atkins to The Zone. They already understand that their overeating is not about an insatiable appetite for food but more an attempt to fill a bottomless void inside of themselves or to quell their often ever-present anxiety.
Clients who come to see either Sally in London, England or Liz in Melbourne, Australia feel over-whelmed with years of yo-yo dieting with failure inevitably following success.
Intellectually people understand how to lose weight, and are tired, and frustrated with their occasional weight loss success triggering a whole range of sabotaging behaviours that puts the weight back on, and keeps them stuck.
We begin the work by acknowledging the present, and that includes their fears that this won’t work for them as so many other things they've already tried for themselves haven’t worked either.
We gently explore an individual’s belief system to shift their perspective with the techniques we use so that the client can begin to embrace, and believe that there is a different way and that they deserve it to be their story too.
Anything else you want to add?
All the techniques we use in our therapy practices are simply explained in our book and in our new online course 'Overcoming Emotional Eating.' With the book and the course we have put together a compelling self-help resource for people to tackle their own reasons for emotional eating, and to facilitate their successful lose weight, once and for all.
7 Simple Steps to Stop Emotional Eating is available from Amazon as a paperback and as an e-version. For more information about Sally and Liz's online course 'Overcoming Emotional Eating' checkout
Contact me if you feel overwhelmed with years of yo-yo dieting and emotional eating. You can schedule an obligation free discovery call by clicking on the button at the top of the page.
If you want to lead a happier more fulfilled life it’s almost impossible when you’re doubting yourself or sabotaging your chances of success. Therapy isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve ‘tried everything’ it could be just what you need. You can book an obligation-free 30-minute discovery call to find out for yourself.