Hello, my name is Brooke and I’m addicted to sugar.
Looking at me, you’d probably never guess, and to be fair, I’m not hiding in the pantry at work scoffing sugar cubes, but until recently, I did eat a chocolate bar a day.
I’d also have a can of Coke. And polish off a packet of those new honeycomb flavoured Malteasers in one night (two nights if I was being ‘good’). Not the standard pack either, the family sized share pack.
After celebrating my 36th birthday – with cake, of course – I realised that fuelling my body with copious amounts of ‘sweet poison’ was probably not ideal but giving up just seemed so hard. Especially when I still wanted to be free to eat fruit, enjoy a cocktail and even have the occasional piece of chocolate (as long as one piece doesn’t spiral into a family-sized block of Dairy Milk within 20 minutes).
While pondering how to tackle this first-world dilemma, I remembered that I’d once read a story on how hypnosis helped a woman find the motivation to exercise and before you could say, “I’ll have a large chocolate sundae”, I was channelling Carrie Bradshaw and asking if hypnosis could help me quit my sugar cravings.
Annelie Peusschers from Brisbane Hypnosis Clinic on New Farm answered my call. With formal qualifications in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Annelie’s expertise focuses on overcoming stress and anxiety, improving self-esteem, improving health, weight loss, and improving academic results.
During our first session, Annalie chatted with me about what I hope to achieve before taking me through some basic hypnosis. It was easy, pain free and I left feeling the same as when I’d arrived. Had it worked? I couldn’t tell.
Two days after my session, I still hadn’t indulged in any of my usual sugary treats aside from a can of Coke but things definitely got a little rocky when I woke up with a headache. There had been signs that this was brewing as I get a lot of tension headaches from so much computer work but I usually don’t cry and suddenly I found myself a full-blown, crying, hyper-emotional mess.
Was it withdrawal? Was it the fact I’d had a rough week in which things hadn’t gone to plan and my neck was out of alignment? We’ll never know, but instead of running for the nearest supermarket to stock up on Mint Slice biscuits and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, I didn’t even head down the lolly aisle.
Also helping me get through that first week were some downloadable hypnotherapy sessions which I listened to while I was going to sleep. I never heard more than five minutes of them, but Annelie assured me this was normal and they they’d still work their magic—which they did!
I returned to Brisbane Hypnosis Clinic the following week for a follow up visit where we chatted about my possible withdrawals (not everyone suffers them but I admit I was pretty dependent on the sweet stuff) and some ongoing anxiety I’d been feeling around work. Then Annelie took me through a relaxation process and I drifted off to a deeper level of consciousness, calmed by her soothing voice as she talked to me about letting go of the negative worries and feelings and also not wanting sugar.
She also slipped in a sneaky little mention of how much I now love salad (it’s not true!) and I kid you not, when walking back to my car and talking to my mum about dinner I suddenly thought, “maybe I should get a salad to go with that”.
I’m now a couple of months down the track and I still haven’t returned to my daily sugar binge. Yes, I occasionally indulge in some chocolate or a cookie or two, but it’s in moderation. And if I feel any of my intense binge-worthy cravings coming back, I have switch on one of the hypnotherapy downloads when going to sleep to get back on track.