In February 2005 after years of dieting, caught in the cycle of gaining and losing weight and experiencing overwhelming self-hatred, I had had ENOUGH, and really I had HAD ENOUGH. I had reached the point of being sick of the struggle, sick of weight being such an ongoing issue for me. Desperate is the word that most closely describes my emotional state at that time.
Inspired by an EFT eBook I had purchased from Drs Look, Carrington and Radomski and some basic information from EFT newsletters I received at the time I started tapping. At this point I did not believe that tapping would address my weight issues, I was just looking for something that might help, even partially.
To begin I tapped on certain foods I felt ‘out of control’ with (those foods that I would eat the whole packet of – chocolate coated almonds and bread rolls with cheese and bacon bits already melted on, these were a couple of the foods that fit this category for me). Once I remember standing in my kitchen tapping with one hand as I stuffed bread rolls into my mouth with the other hand (there’s an elegant look for you).
I also addressed:
1. General self-hatred and hatred of my body. In 2005 I wasn’t aware of the Simple Energy Techniques developed by Steve Wells and Dr David Lake so I was using phrases from the EFT manual at the time that went along the lines of “Even though I have this issue, I completely and deeply love and accept myself” or a slight variation on these words. The idea of loving and accepting myself was revolutionary to me. It was a good starting point for letting go of the hatred and replacing that with healthier beliefs.
2. The resistance I had to being thin (really the fear of being thin). I had lost weight several times prior 2005 and it always came back with more. I remember tapping on the issue of my body having a set point (a weight that it was determined to keep me at) as I felt at the time that my body was ‘fighting’ to keep me at heavier and heavier set points AND more importantly AWAY from lighter weights that I wanted my body to ‘stick’ at.
3. The guilt and more toxic shame of being fat. The scales and the numbers they showed were a huge trigger for me as were clothing sizes. I worked on the guilt, shame and other negative feelings that would often trigger me into eating even more as I felt so terrible about myself.
4. My metabolism and any physical issues that I believed were hindering my weight loss. At that time I had been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome by my doctor. My very basis understanding of this syndrome is that it’s basically at hormonal issue with symptoms that can include weight gain BUT weight gain then tends to make the hormones even more out of balance and it becomes a negative spiral.
5. ALL the failed attempts to lose weight and keep it off and the despair, disappointment and anger towards myself. There were so many of these failed attempts. I addressed those that had the most ‘emotional charge’ or bad feelings when I thought of them.
6. The emotional reasons why I ate which was primarily to avoid uncomfortable feelings. You name it, I ate to avoid it. I tapped on the association between every negative emotion that was linked with food for me (it was all of them of course, and I worked on all of them individually and thoroughly).
7. Fear of not losing weight and living my life overweight. I think this was my biggest fear in retrospect. The thought to this made me feel very uncomfortable and physically ill but did not stop me eating. Until I addressed this it was an easy sabotage that I reacted to again and again.
8. The belief that I would never lose weight and keep it off successfully as I had never been able to do this in the pas.t I tapped on my (massive) doubts that I would be able to do this in the future.
9. General feelings of not ‘being enough’. As I tapped on the issues associated with weight and food I realised that there were other areas of my life where I didn’t feel good. At that time the phrase that resonated was feeling like I ‘wasn’t enough’. I addressed work and personal issues relating to this.
I attribute my long term success to several key points that influenced the way that I tapped on this issue back in 2005.
1. I had reached a point that I had had enough of this weight issue and I was truly desperate for change. I had a little experience with tapping having been shown the technique by a colleague in 2002 and wasn’t sure that it would ‘work’ for this issue. Of course, I used it anyway and I am so glad I did.
2. I tapped a lot of weight and ALL the surrounding issues as a priority. I wasn’t working on several areas of my life at once with tapping. My weight issues were my ONLY priority for several months. I wasn’t expecting all these issues to clear in a week or two; I knew this was my main problem in life and that it needed persistence and a through approach.
3. Although I didn’t tap every day on this issue back in 2002 I did tap regularly, mostly several times per week.
4. I addressed ALL aspects of the problem, even ones I didn’t think I had. I wanted to be THROUGH and get everything. I didn’t dismiss anything as not applying to me. I tapped on everything I knew COULD be impacting on my weight issue even if I thought that maybe that was other people’s issues but didn’t apply to me. I didn’t really know why weight was such a struggle for me and this worked to my advantage because I tapped on EVERYTHING I could think of that MIGHT be a reason or contributing factor.
5. I kept a written record of what I was tapping on and used the SUDS scale to check in from time to time with my emotional response. This made sure that I was keeping on addressing all parts of this issue I had over several tapping sessions.
It’s now 2017, twelve years later and the interesting thing is that now I have a new set point for my weight which it is hard for me to stray from. My doctor actually commented on this the last time I was in his room. He asked me ‘how do you stay at the same weight (when everyone else is getting fatter/having such a struggle)? I choose to spare him the full answer explaining the tapping and the internal shift that I had made; he didn’t know me ten years ago and has only known me thin. I did say that it was easy for me and it really is. People are amazed with how much I eat, how I almost always make really health food choices and there is no struggle, no ‘being good’, it really is a non-issue for me now.
In retrospect I changed my identity in relation to this issue. I know have completely different beliefs around my body and my weight which are much healthier and more positive for my body and mind.
Emma Watson, June 2017