HypnoLangsing – The Sessions

So I’ve written about my introduction with HypnoLangsing and what made me decide to join the program. Like I said, after reading the book, I was still curious to know further about this weight loss method. Luckily, I was offered to join the sessions by Mbak Nunny Hersianna herself, so I was able to attend and report to you what I learned throughout the time.

The class was led by Juli Triharto and there were 3 classes to complete this program, each lasts for around 3 hours.

It’s impossible to write down every single thing I learned during the 3 sessions because there are so many! But I’ll try to put the essence of it to the following:

Session 1

During the first session, Mbak Nunny and Mas Juli explained to the participants, what hypnotherapy is and how it is different from the stage hypnosis we see on TV (just as I explained on my previous post). I guess it’s necessary for them to explain this particular thing because our perception on hypnosis has long been clouded by those ‘mystical’ images, especially the fear of being unwillingly hypnotized and getting robbed.

Mbak Nunny also mentioned that there would be a hypnosis segment at the end of the session but, as if reading our minds, she told us not to be afraid. She said we had full control of what’s going on during the hypnosis. We can ‘wake up’ anytime we want (even though we’re not really asleep). But we shouldn’t analyze the process too much because it will prevent us from being in a relaxed state thus making it hard for the therapist to give us the suggestions. Because I’ve never been under hypnosis before, I was actually quite excited to experience it.

During the session, Mas Juli explained to us thoroughly on the 4 magic rules of HypnoLangsing. He “saved” the last rule for our third session. So here it is again:

  • Eat when you’re hungry

Through several exercises, Mas Juli taught us how to really recognize the signs our bodies are giving us when we are physically hungry. Some feel weak, some find it hard to concentrate, some hear the rumble in their stomachs :D We were asked to really listen to those signs and separate between real hunger and emotional hunger. When we know the signs of real physical hunger, that’s what we need to focus on. If we feel those signs, we eat. Other than that, we don’t. Yes, even if your boss just humiliates you in front of your co-workers and you get stuck in traffic for 3 hours inside a cab with a driver who drives like a maniac. You only eat when you are hungry.

  • Eat what you want, not what you think you should

According to Mas Juli, we are equipped with an intelligent body that can tell us what we need to eat, if we really listen. If you go and eat a plate of salad with no dressing, while your body wants you to eat a few bites of roast chicken, you are cutting the connection between your physical and mental state, and usually you will end up overeating. To be perfectly honest, this is a rule I find a bit hard to accept because I am aware that some food are bad for us and some are good.But then I found this article at webmd.com which confirms that it’s wrong to deny yourself. Healthy eating doesn’t mean you can not include your favorite food from time to time. When there are “forbidden food” you will most likely become obsessed with those particular food and end up eating too much of it. To quote that article, your appetite, which can include a desire for sweets or other less-than-healthy treats, is a strong body signal. And part of keeping your body at that “satisfied” level on the hunger scale is eating tastes that you like and want.

But it’s important to know which body signal is talking to help you control what you are eating.

If you’re eating healthy and listening to your body signals, a piece of birthday cake or an occasional order of french fries can fit into your healthy eating plan. When the holidays come around, it’s OK to eat the traditional foods you love. Just keep listening to your body signals and eat only enough to reach that “satisfied” or “neutral” level. So finally, I won’t dread the upcoming Idul Fitri because I know I don’t have to feel guilty eating those  as yummy Lebaran treats long as I don’t go overboard. Isn’t that wonderful? :D

  • Eat Consciously

Mas Juli has a joke regarding our eating habit: he said, many of us think about food while we’re working. (What am I gonna have for lunch later? What about coffee time when we need to snacks?) But when we are actually eating, food is the last thing on our mind. We eat while staring at the laptop or TV screen, we eat while speaking on the phone, we eat while reading a book and so on and so forth. When we do this, we have no idea how much we’ve eaten and before you know it, your plate is empty and your stomach is very full. So in HypnoLangsing, we were taught to eat consciously without adding any distraction to the activity. Remember, eating should be pleasurable. If we’ve been craving for that plate of pasta, don’t you think we should at least enjoy every mouthful of it?

So Mas Juli asked us to practice eating slowly and let us savor the taste, the sensation that the food gives us. The simple way to do this is by putting our spoons and forks down when we chew our food. Then chew it until it is really soft enough to swallow. Don’t inhale it in :D

This method also allows you to really pay attention to how full you really are. This will also give time for your stomach to send signal to your brain, whether you are in a neutral, comfortable or full zone. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full.

It may sound simple but if you make it into a habit, it will make it easier for you to practice the next rule, which is:

  • Stop at neutral

Here is a “hunger scale” that was explained to us

10 – Stuffed

9 – Very Uncomfortably Full

8 – Uncomfortably Full

7 – Full

6 – Comfortable

5 – Neutral

4 – Hungry

3 – Very Hungry

2 – Extremely Hungry

1- Starving

According to Mas Juli, if we want to lose weight, we should maintain in the #5 to #6 zone. But what’s even better is if you stop eating when you reach neutral state. How do we know when we reach it? The same way we know when we are really physically hungry. By listening to our body more and by eating consciously. It’s different for each person. Some will eat 5 spoonfuls of rice to get to neutral. Some only need 3. It may take time and some wild guess for you to adjust to this new habit but once you do it, it will become a natural thing. Always leave something on your plate.If you watch how a child eats, you will get a sense of this. A child will only eat when they’re hungry and when they think they’ve had enough, they will stop eating and that is when you usually play the ‘chase her down with spoons’ game. Children are still very much in tune with their body signals and they react to what their body tells them. As parents, we should encourage this instead of forcing them to finish their plates which will disrupt their mind-body connection.

Once these 4 rules have been drilled into our minds and all of our questions and concerns answered, we then proceeded to the hypnosis session. We were asked to relax and then used positive suggestions to set target in our mind, of how we want to look. For example, we were asked to imagine what our ideal figure would be like, and then we ‘step into’ that person and imagine what it feels like to be in that body, to talk, walk and eat in that body, to look in the mirror. It was an interesting experience. Not easy to describe but when I ‘woke up’ (even though I wasn’t really asleep), I felt refreshed, serene and very happy :)

Me with Juli Triharto, Nunny Hersianna and the rest of the class after Session 1

Session 2

In this session, Mas Juli asked us about our progress in applying the four rules in the past week. How do we feel when we do it and whether we have questions or concerns that may prevent us from making these rules as our new habits. He asked us what is the hardest thing we find? Most of us in the class said that it’s hard to stop eating when we reach neutral, no matter how much food left, because we were taught, since we were very little, to always clean our plates. How do we do this when our parents used to coax us, even punish us, into eating every grain of rice, otherwise the rice will cry all night long? :D

Yep, it’s not easy to change something that has been instilled deep inside our subconscious, is it? To overcome this, Mas Juli taught us a technique called Swish Pattern. It is a Neuro-Lingustic Programming technique which can be useful to take unwanted behavior (such as smoking when stressed out) and replace them with more useful behavior or state. It is a technique best taught “live” with a therapist but what I can tell you that it does work! After trying out these simple steps for a few times, I find it increasingly easy to stop eating and push my plate back, no matter how much food left, when my body tells me I have had just about enough.

Another thing that we learned from this session is how to avoid emotional eating. Even though we know we’re not supposed to seek comfort in food when we’re stressed out, tired, sad or angry – we can’t deny that it is possibly the easiest way to get rid of all those negative feelings. Just imagine eating a bowl of ice cream or chomping down a few slices of cheesy pizza – we feel better already, don’t we? But what price do we pay for that behavior? Gaining weight, in my case. So in this session also, we discussed how to reduce stress and finding other alternative to overcome it than eating. We were also taught to practice a technique called Thought Field Therapy (TFT) . This technique was developed by an American psychologist, Roger Callahan, where we tap on meridian points on the body, derived from acupuncture, which can release energy blockages that cause negative emotions. This technique is explained in HypnoLangsing book so I’m not going to elaborate it here. But Mas Juli suggested that we use this technique every time we feel any strong negative emotion which make us want to run to our fridge.

Session 3

In this final session, we learned how to perfect the 4 rules that we have put into practice. This is an important step and can not be separated from the other 4 in order for us to lose weight. And this rule #5 is: get moving! Oh well, we already know that, don’t we? Yes. But how many of us could claim that we are always active? Not me for sure. I always find myself saying excuses like: I’m too busy, I don’t have 2 hours to spend at the gym. Or..I need a new pair of trainers first! :D

Mas Juli explained that we usually associate being active or moving our body more with going to the gym, or going to a specific place in a specific time to exercise. Nothing wrong with that, but if you can’t see yourself adapting to that lifestyle yet, you can actually start from simpler things. He suggested us to just gradually add the number of steps we take everyday. Try getting a pedometer (step counter) and discover how many steps you take everyday and aim to add 1,000 more. If that becomes easy, try adding another 1,000 more. And so on and so forth until you find yourself moving more and become accustomed to it. Then you try including some more exercises into your routine like joining a gym, dance class, running, yoga, etc.

Here are a few simple tips to add extra steps to your daily routine:

– Park your car further from your building entrance, mall, supermarket or just about anywhere.

– Take stairs instead of elevator. Your office is in 30th floor? Take the elevator, stop at 25th floor and proceed with stairs.

– Don’t want to give up time with your family during the weekend? Go to the mall and window shop and walk for 1-2 hours (Don’t take a detour to the food court though :D)

– Walk and play with your kids more. Dance with them too.

I’m sure the list goes on and on. The point is, start small and gradually aim for more activities as you go along. This way you won’t see exercising as something hard and time-consuming. As Mas Juli said “Embrace your active lifestyle. The obstacle to fit body is unfit mindset.” You need to make it a part of your habit and make it fun!

There are a lot more I learned during those 3 sessions of HypnoLangsing which I can not write down because this post is already so long! But I’m glad I did all of them because it really did get me a better understanding of the whole program. My questions were answered, my subconscious was ‘reprogrammed’ and I found it easier to practice the rules.

So has my eating habit completely changed? Have I lost weight? Can I fit into my old pair of jeans? Wait for my next post as I update you with my progress! ;)

For more info on HypnoLangsing: