You may find it odd that I’d post an article titled, ‘Why You Shouldn’t Work With Me as a Client.’ I’ll explain…
Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of weight loss clients directly and thousands indirectly through my online programs.
One of the things that many of them, or truly most of them have in common is that they want to lose the excess weight yesterday. I also work with many other issues with clients like nailbiting, quitting smoking, increasing motivation, and the list goes on.
and while they also want quick results, weight loss clients in general, tend to want the results more immediately.
I do understand. As someone who began battling his own weight issues as a kid, I too have been in the same position. And I, like them have tried all the get-thin quick schemes out there. Maybe you’ve battled your weight for decades too. (If you’ve not heard my story before, I had ballooned up to 270 lbs and then used hypnosis to take off over 70 lbs. That’s what compelled me to become a hypnotherapist.)
Over the years I had tried;
• Weight loss supplements
• Starvation diets
• Guaranteed results exercise programs
• I even went in for weekly B 12 vitamin shots for a while. And I hate needles!
I tried so many, many, many things. Maybe you have to.
Oftentimes this urgency is because of some certain event or goal that’s coming up. Many times clients want to lose weight quickly because of;
• Their upcoming wedding
• Their child’s upcoming wedding
• High school or college reunions
• A pending divorce (Yes, really)
• Health concerns
• And of course, swimsuit season
Health concerns are what brought a client who I’ll call Sheri in to see to me.
Sheri was a dour person. The kind of person who can darken a room with their presence. I’m not sure if that was her normal demeanor or if it was because of her recent visit to the doctor.
I try to be as understanding as possible because I understand that people who are unpleasant are unpleasant for a reason. They’re hurting inside.
She came into my office wearing frumpy clothes that were baggy and out of fashion. Unfortunately, many overweight people will give up on fashion altogether because we don’t feel like we look good in anything so, “why bother”.
Most clothes aren’t designed for overweight people and so they fit uncomfortably and/or they just don’t look quite right. I’m happy to see that more and more clothing designers are beginning to make more attractive clothing for overweight people.
It’s important for one’s self-esteem to look as good as one can. Not for anyone else, but for themselves. Her eyes were downcast, her shoulders were drooping and she wore a frown as big as the world.
Sheri flopped down into the recliner and glared at me like I was the enemy. As we begin the conversation she outlined why she was there. She’d just been to the doctor’s office recently and found out that she was prediabetic. She was scared.
She wanted, no “needed” to make a change immediately or she would be put on medications. The doctor had sent her to a nutritionist and given her some recommendations for exercise.
She further explained that she wanted me to use Hypnosis to make her never eat pizza or sweets again and to “make” her exercise for 45 minutes a day five days a week.
Some of my clients have found the, ‘Sit and BE Fit’ program very helpful. Especially in the beginning of their weight loss journey.
I believe at the time some new guidelines and been put out by one of the exercise organizations. I thought it was the American College of sports medicine but it may have been another one. I’m unable to find that original source right now but according to the current guidelines from the ACSM 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week is what’s recommended,
Keep in mind though that that is the ideal recommendation and it’s not a good place for someone who isn’t used to exercising.
I don’t know if the doctor actually recommended that amount of exercise immediately or if she was told that that would be the goal to work up to.
Regardless, she wanted it now! Many people are under the false impression that Hypnosis works like some kind of a magic potion and will instantly and completely turn their life around. I’m used to that line of thinking.
Hypnosis shows, unfortunately, help to perpetuate the myth. For instance, while on stage I might make someone think that they are Taylor Swift. Throughout the show, they will jump up and sing and dance like Taylor Swift whenever I give them a trigger word.
It’s important to understand though, that the person is not going to think that they are Taylor Swift tomorrow or even a few hours from the time of the show. Without reinforcement that’s suggestion will fade away in a short time. That’s even if I don’t remove the suggestion at the end of the show.
In general, weight loss Hypnosis treatments will take anywhere from 3 to 6 sessions and possibly as many as 12 depending on the weight and certain other considerations.
She wanted to take off 60 lbs so anywhere from 6 to 9 Hypnosis sessions would likely be necessary. Weight loss is more complicated than many of the other things that I help clients with. For instance, the smoking habit is either on or off.
For weight loss Hypnosis one must continue to eat and make better choices throughout the day over a long period of time and ideally, permanently.
I asked the client if she was currently doing any exercise and she replied that she wasn’t. I explained to her that even if I was able to, with the aid of Hypnosis, make her motivated and want to exercise for 45 minutes a day her body would probably have difficulty with it.
For a sedentary person who’s not exercised before or at least in a very long time, even a slow walk for 45 minutes could be a challenge. I asked her if she’d be willing to scale back her expectations for herself and start with 5 or 10-minute walks 3x a week increasing when appropriate.
“No”, she adamantly replied. My doctor says I have to exercise for 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
I tried to explain to her the limitations of Hypnosis and of her own body, and that she would be much more successful if she would scale back her expectations. She refused. She also wanted to lose the first 20 pounds in one month which was also problematic.
While some people can lose 20 pounds in a month especially if they are extremely overweight it’s unlikely for most people. A significantly overweight male would be much more likely, but for a woman over 50, losing 20 lbs in a month is usually unrealistic.
And yes, I do have clients take off significant amounts of weight in a relatively short time, especially those that choose a ketogenic diet, it’s not the majority. If you’d like to start a ketogenic diet I have a complete 8-week, self-paced program available, ‘Hypnosis Support for Keto & Fasting.’ I also have several other digital products that might be useful for you.
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As much as I want to encourage positive thinking I want to be realistic with clients so that they know what to expect. It simply isn’t worth it to me to sign up a client by offering unrealistic expectations only for them to be disappointed again.
Believe me, I’ve been there so many times. I’ve fallen for all of the ‘easy weight loss’, ‘lose 20 pounds in a month’, and all of the other hyped-up claims many times. Most overweight people have, and I refuse to play any part in that kind of thing. It hurts. It hurts when you get your hopes up and get excited and then once again, fail.
It’s also detrimental to client success. People who expect to lose 20 pounds in a month and only lose 10 are more likely to give up because they’re disappointed that they’re not losing it fast enough. I always remind people that even at 5 lbs a month that’s 60 lbs in a year. That’s fantastic!
And from a purely business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense either. I certainly don’t want to mislead a client into thinking they’re going to get miraculous results and then when they don’t they give up and give me a bad review.
I recently began working with a client who was nearly the opposite of Sherri. While was she sad, discouraged and frustrated by her weight she was much more open to going slow and being consistent. This client, Traisee really got it.
She agreed to start off slow with exercise, just a 5 or 10 minute walk a few times a week. We worked on a few other things and when we did our check-in call a couple of weeks she was doing great. She’d been following her recommendations to listen to the recording of the hypnosis session we did, she was walking a few days a week, and doing great with the other things as well.
Later we met for her Zoom session to do her 2nd hypnosis session. She showed me her calendar where she’d been tracking her exercise – she put smiley face stickers on the days she walked. Hurray, tracking our successes is so helpful!
She also reported that her knees and back were feeling better, she had more energy, and most importantly she feels proud of herself.
This is why I do the work that I do.
If you’re trying to lose weight or make some other change in your life I urge you to go slow and be consistent. It feels much better to set a goal to lose 5 lbs and then lose 10 than it does to set a goal to lose 10 and then lose 5.
You don’t have to be perfect, yet. (Or ever)– Jim Kellner, CHt
Be a Traisee!
Sherri and I decided that we weren’t a good fit to work together. I hope she was successful in the end. I’ve had to turn away clients with other issues who’ve had unrealistic expectations too or who I can tell aren’t really wanting to make the change. If I don’t think I can help you to be successful, I won’t work with you.
So, if you are someone who is attached to making monumental changes in an instant, You Shouldn’t Work With Me as a Client. But, if you’re willing to set realistic goals and then be blown away when you exceed the goals, you definitely should work with me.
PS Traisee recently sent me a text, here’s the screenshot – 13.9 lbs in a little over a month! Wow.
If you’d like to find out if we’d be a good fit to work together to accomplish your goals I’d love to chat with you. You can look at my online calendar by tapping HERE and scheduling a time for us to talk.
Take Care, Be Well, Be Awesome!
Jim Kellner is a Hypnotherapist, Author, Speaker, and Comedy Stage Hypnotist. He currently splits his time between Seattle, WA and Phoenix, AZ, and travels extensively across the US performing entertainment and speaking events.