Not So Sweet Valentine’s Day

It started with pillows – lots and lots of pillows – configured much more precisely than I would have guessed, aimed to support your body in such a way as to allow your mind to open up.  As the newbies in the room, we observed how the others had situated their pillows but despite our best attempts to clone their structures, we were unsuccessful. In the spirit of the event, assistance was graciously offered and gratefully, albeit a bit ashamedly, accepted. We now had our well-built little havens and were absorbing the indisputable Zen of and in the room, yet I felt a little anxious already: if I couldn’t manage to set up a stupid pile of pillows and felt too self conscious to ask for help, perhaps I had bigger issues than would be addressed in the next hour and a half.  Gee.

Colorful Meditation Pillow

That exercise, I now realize, was actually the beginning of the “letting go” phase of our morning.

Once we had achieved the appropriate positioning, the fact remained that neither Barry nor I had a clue as to what to expect. We were equal parts excited, anxious and hopeful…although Barry less so on all counts.  Yet here we were about to experience my Valentine’s Day gift to Barry: getting hypnotized to get off of sugar.  Romantic, huh?  (I know, I know…leave it to me to give a gift of getting off sugar…particularly in recognition of a holiday based on, um, sugar?)

The first 45 minutes were spent discussing just how much sugar sucks (duh)(but a buzz kill nonetheless) followed by what was going to happen to and for us, what hypnosis is and is not and, finally, what it seeks to accomplish.  It was during this portion of the introduction that my vision of a swinging watch and a, “you’re getting sleepy” intoning were dashed, yet my anxiety over “losing control” were quelled.  Barry and I exchanged a few glances of shared skepticism, but now that we had our killer pillow set-up there was no turning back.

So there I laid upon a pile of cozy blankets, ensconced in pillows, my great sport of a husband within arms-reach, ready to succumb to a power bigger than I who, if I am lucky, was going to get me to forgo the sweets and, as a result, lose the paunch I’ve managed to acquire.

Let’s do this!

The instructor, um, hypnotist, explained that the outcome of our session would be less a fireworks “aha moment”, rather it will be more like you flipped a switch (in your subconscious) and would notice at some point over the next several days and weeks that, hey, look at that: I don’t have any desire to gorge on ice cream, Snickers Bars, coffee drinks that are more mocha than java, cookies, pie…you know, all the good stuff.   As someone who is famous for taking a long time to flip a switch[1], this quick version was very appealing.  Just lying there, in anticipation of having the recesses of my subconscious poked and prodded, I already felt thinner, less bloated and empowered.  C’mon, sub conscious, show me what ya got!


During the actual hypnosis part of the program – it lasted 32 minutes, but felt more like 10 – I was aware of my arms and legs feeling so weighted down that they were rendered immobile.  I squirmed some as I tried to adjust my back to the floor[2]  and was thisclose to falling asleep (which actually made me a little anxious as I did not want to lose out on being hypnotized because I was snoozing), but all in all I would describe the experience as peaceful, gentle,  liberating.  However, as we all “came to” I felt simultaneously enervated and energized, disbelieving and unhesitatingly assured of the power of hypnosis and somehow “different.”  I know how ridiculous this sounds, but I did put hand to belly to see if the pounds I’d gained from sugar had melted away whilst I was under and, I swear, was actually more surprised than disappointed that they hadn’t.  Weird, right?

As we collected ourselves and began the process of rising, deconstructing our pillow sanctuary and re-entering the world, I turned to Barry and, because I know him so well, gathered from his expression and body language that he’d not experienced things quite the same way I had.  Of note, and germane to the conversation, Barry has two states of being: 1. running around accomplishing and, 2. sleeping.  He is a living breathing Energizer Bunny who has never done yoga[3] or meditated or really even relaxed (it is truly part of his charm) so add that to the discomfort in his just two month post-op back[4], and I’d argue that his hypnotizability is harder to accomplish, but time will tell.[5]


We are now 48 hours PH[6] and I’ve not eaten, or perhaps more to the point, wanted to eat anything sweet.  As in anything.  No ice cream, no sugar (or mocha) in my coffee, no cinnamon sugar on toast, no hard candies, no Diet Coke (fake sugar…just as bad).  I am feeling, in the words of my friend Kim who, not for nothing, turned me onto this whole hypnosis thing, BADASS.


I spent most of yesterday in the house as we entertained yet another snowstorm/school snow day.   In my PH[7] days, I’d have baked something, made mocha-y coffees, enjoyed ice cream (but right from the carton and standing up in front of the freezer, so it didn’t count) and probably have popped a few M&Ms (perhaps more than a few and perhaps several times throughout the day).  Instead, and with not as much as a consideration of any of the above, I enjoyed (no, really, I enjoyed them) fresh snap peas and carrots, several bowls of berries and unsweetened tea and actually surpassed the recommended eight glasses of water per day we are all supposed to drink.  What the even?!!?  Most notable: these things tasted better, I felt better and I did not feel deprived or, perhaps most wonderful, pissed off!

I woke up this morning feeling pretty pleased with myself, more specifically my subconscious, for doing its damn job and beginning to get me off sugar.  And, because I am an idiot who wants instant gratification, I thought it would be a good idea to weigh myself.  Here is some video of how that went:

Me and the scale

If you were to ask me today if I would do it again: Hell to the yes.

Got something you want to get hypnotized for?  Let me know…I’m kinda dying to do it again.

[1] Yes, I do take an embarrassingly long time to flip (mostly emotional) switches; however, once I do…I never look back.

[2] Note to self: next time, and there will definitely be a next time…no more holding onto shit way longer than necessary, anyone?…I will add one more pillow under the small of my back.

[3] I’d actually pay good money to see that. I love you, Barry.

[4] Poor guy hurt his back – opening a drawer of his dresser – on Memorial Day weekend and suffered with it until it was surgically repaired just before Christmas. 

[5] Not throwing him under the bus, but he did kinda eat a cookie when we got home.  No judgment.

[6] Post hypnosis

[7] Pre hypnosis

9 thoughts on “Not So Sweet Valentine’s Day

  1. Awesome writing. Def some of your best. Here’s to you, my one true love, for keeping it real, and wanting to forge ever forward in life.


  2. Another great post Julie! And I’m curious if you’ve continued to crave sugar less… as one who could def benefit from sugar craving reduction!!

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