Friday, 21 January 2011

Hypnosis: Week 2

Sheila Granger, Hypnotherapist
Earlier this week, I drove up to Beverley again for a second session with the hypnotherapist, Sheila Granger. I'm going to have good memories of theis course of treatement because the weather has been fine and the scenery on the way up is glorious.

Molescroft Surgery
The start of the programme has been very successful; I have shed about 13 pounds and am visibly slimmer (not just my opinion). I've listened regularly twice a day to the reinforcement CD (I don't know if that's whet Sheila would call it) and have eaten much less at each meal - 3 small meals per day without feeling hungry.

I've not, as the CD suggests, had a craving for water, though I am drinking more, and I know I need to get more exercise but Molly the spaniel is unwell and reluctant to go for long walks so the incentive is low.

This week, we had another 'live' session where Sheila sought to reinforce some of the suggestions. She asked me (under hypnosis) to imagine all the fat in my body taken out and placed in a bucket, then she asked me to imagine painting the fat onto crisps and onto chocolate, two things I said I liked (though to be honest, I haven't touched them since we began the hypnotherapy). It sounds revolting and was, in fact much more graphic than my brief few words above. Whether it will work in the longer term remains to be seen.

I now have to continue to lose weight, having had the early boost of a significant loss. This will be longer and less steep so I have to keep faith. Then, of course, I have to sustain it for the foreseeable future. Wish me luck!

Friday, 14 January 2011

So, I set off to get hypnotised

So, I set off to go and get hypnotised

Some time before Christmas, I heard on BBC Radio 5live an interview with someone talking about a 'virtual gastric band'.
Now we've all heard about gastric bands which restrict the size of your stomach and, therefore, the amount you can eat. Many celebs have used them to advantage, but this was something different: by hypnosis, the patient is persuaded to believe that they have had a band fitted and their body reacts as one might expect.

Now, I’m very sceptical about this sort of thing but I’m also keen to lose some weight (for keen, read desperate). My father died after having multiple strokes, brought on, I’m sure, by his overweight and when I look in the mirror, I see my father.
Anyway, I made some appointments and decided to carry on as usual until the new year.

Last Saturday, I set off to drive to Beverley to see Sheila Granger, a hypnotherapist. My session with her was just like visiting a doctor; she asked why I wanted to lose weight, what I thought was to cause of my problem, etc., etc., and we then settled down to the hypnosis.

I thought, from seeing stage/TV hypnotists, that the ‘victim’ fall fast asleep, to be awakened by a snap of the fingers like someone coming back from the dead. This was different; Sheila said I might only feel as if I was sitting with my eyes closed and, in fact, that was the case. But, I was aware that something was happening; I was intensely relaxed while also being attentive. When she talked my out of the ‘trance’ (it didn’t feel like one) I felt my system starting up out of torpor and awoke feeling great.

Sheila gave me a disk to listen to twice a day to reinforce the message and I drove home.

Since then, I’ve taken time out of each day (17 minutes each time) to relax and listen to the disk (on my mp3 player). Despite all my scepticism, it seems to be working. I’m now eating tiny meals and feeling full all the time. Since last Saturday, I have shed 9-10 pounds and am feeling much lighter. Apart from losing weight by eating small meals, we are spending very little on food so there are advantages all round.

I’m off early next week for my next appointment, so we’ll see what happens….

Friday, 7 January 2011

Halfway out of the dark (and coffee porn)

The Dr Who phrase about Christmas seems to have settled into the popular culture vernacular rather well and, this particular year, it seemed to sum up the cold, dark end of 2010 and the somewhat drighter start of 2011.

Struggling into work just before Christmas wasn't much fun but we settled down over the lengthy Christmas/New Year holiday to log fires, good food and a decent rest. The pipes outside froze, because of the rather complicated set of joints the plumber put in, blocking the bath and shower outlets. It took me a couple of hours to thaw them out. Fortunately, the important bits were plastic so no bursts.

We've burned a fair bit of our stock of logs but that's OK; there are still some that need cutting up so we should get through the Winter.

The main 'tragedy' over the holiday was that the thermostat on my prized Gaggia espresso maker died so I couldn't make decent coffee. I've ordered a new thermostat but am still waiting for it to arrive. I used to think that I was obsessed with good coffee but while looking for advice on fitting the new thermostat, I came across a number of coffee forums and was astounded by the seriousness with which the contributors consider their coffee-making:

Q. " have been having problems with getting a good microfoam lately from my Dalla Corte Mini. I am not new to this and normally get a good microfoam (as good as any I can get out).

I normally steam about 8 oz in a 20 oz pitcher, and stretch for 2-3 seconds and steam for a total of about 15 seconds. The Dalla Corte has no problem producing steam from its dedicated boiler.

I normally use low fat milk or half full fat."

A. "I'm guessing it is the milk. In winter the cows get different feed, often resulting in milk with very different frothing properties. All brands and areas seem to be affected by this."

Another A. "We, here in Estonia, do get the "this-time-of-year" syndrome aswell and for us unfortunately the only choice is to use UHT milk for a month or two, then everything will be ok again."

"In a pinch, pulling a single from a double basket will work, but it takes some finesse to get the pull right, still working with that myself. I pulled a couple of singles yesterday, all I have is a double basket w/ bottomless portafilter. 8 g., Ground finer than I would when dosing a double, did light taps on the counter to level, and nutation at half dose and again at full dose, . Then firm tamp ~20 lbs and it pulled a pretty good shot, no channeling. Blonded early, but I expected that. Crema was sparse,but there, and the shot tasted ok, not bitter or sour, just light in body. Nothing to write home about."

And just for more coffee porn, have a look at these tampers (just for pressing down the coffee into the portafilter before espressing the water through). £52 each!

I could go on about all this - you probably think I already have - but all I want is a decent espresso, not a love affair.
Anyhow, things have started to brighten up, though there's more snow on the way, hopefully just a temporary drop.

The leaves are beginning to green up, buds are fattening and catkins are shyly starting to drop.

I have a major project to start this weekend but I think I'll save that for later.

Happy random calendar turnover period