According to the statistics of the American Dietetic Association, there are over 1500 different diets for weight control and over 50% of American woman are on a diet at any given time. This may be attributed to advertising, that women must be thin to be admired and accepted. One of the myths about being overweight is that being thin is the potential cure-all to any problem that exists. These advertisements would have you believe that if someone loses weight, everything in their life will suddenly be fantastic, they can do anything, be anything, go anyplace and everybody in the world will love them. In other words, lose weight and it will be a magical end to all the problems in life. It is said that “fat is not where it’s at, thin is in”. This may be a catchy sounding slogan but it has no place in client centred therapy.
Another myth is the belief that finding the right diet will solve the problem of being overweight. There are countless numbers of diet books on the market today. It seems that almost anybody who can write a book has written a diet book. The titles entice would be readers and each new diet usually claims to be the best. The one thing most diet books have in common is the myth of the “quick fix”. This is not to say that diet books are not beneficial and useful, however consumers should be aware of the difference between a diet book and a food plan for living. During an informal survey conducted by a Therapeutic Hypnosis Group at over eaters support groups over a two year period, it was found that diet books did not significantly help overweight people with their problem. Most people who were overweight already knew what they had to do to lose weight.
Even the word diet has a negative meaning to many weight clients. One woman said she objected to the word diet because the first three letters spell “DIE”. Another woman objected to the way the benefits of hypnosis was explained to her by a poorly trained hypnotist. Apparently, this hypnotist insisted that over eating was the same kind of habit as smoking and that hypnosis would quickly remove the habit. This woman resented the implication that her problem was as simple as giving up cigarettes and stated, “What made him think that I could stop eating cold turkey. I you never smoke another cigarette it won’t kill you, but you just can’t stop eating”.