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by Michael T. Lombardi

I’d like to tell you a story. A true story of obsession, that ultimately leads to redemption.

I was walking down a lonely desert road, the late afternoon sunshine bathing me in warmth from high above. There was nothing around me for miles, except empty desert and lots of sand. I had been walking for what felt like days, and I was STARVING. At first, I thought I was hallucinating as the succulent aromas hit my nose. The sugary scent of cotton candy, buttery popcorn, and fried dough filled the air. But how could this be? Was this some kind of odoriferous mirage? Then, I saw it: A giant circus tent in the shape of a donut! Where did that come from? The visual was pure bliss. In that instant, I ceased being myself and became a slobbering Pavlovian dog! I was in paradise.

As I approached the opening of the tent, two women dressed like churros appeared out of nowhere, greeting me with wide smiles and open arms. The sugary smells coming from inside the tent became almost too much to bear, overwhelming my senses. But I liked it. My subconscious kept screaming MORE, MORE! I entered the tent and immediately looked up to see donuts, candy, chocolate, and my personal favorite – barbeque pork rinds floating above me, just out of reach. I stretched my arms upward and even jumped up & down in place, attempting to snag a little piece of heavenly goodness. But it was not to be. I could not make contact. So, I yelled at the top of my lungs “GET IN MY BELLY!” Big mistake. My cries echoed through the tent, then… Boom. Lights out.

A deafening silence overtook me as I found myself standing in complete darkness. Okay, this is getting really weird now, I thought to myself – as if a circus tent shaped like a donut in the middle of the desert wasn’t weird enough? Anyway, there I stood, motionless. The sugary smells were gone. The joy had been sucked from the tent. I was completely and utterly alone. Or so I thought. Then, in the darkness, I heard a voice say “Open your eyes”.

Was this God speaking to me? Why would God be speaking to me? Maybe I had fallen asleep in front of the TV again watching Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives and Guy Fieri was calling out to me? What?? So many questions! My mind was spinning. “Open your eyes” the voice said again. Then I felt a slight shake, and opened my eyes to the sight of Doctor William McEvoy standing over me. “Welcome back”, he said.

Confused? Let me back up a bit and start from the beginning. . .

For the last few years, I had not been feeling all that great about my physical appearance. I am 5’9” and my weight has recently been hovering in the 165-170lbs range. You may think that sounds like a good height to weight ratio, but for me, it’s about 10-15lbs heavier than I’d like to be, because normally I weigh-in around 155lbs. When I gain weight, it tends to go straight to my face, chest, and gut, and even a small amount of extra weight changes my appearance in a way I’m not comfortable with.

I am fortunate that I still have a fairly fast metabolism, so by making a few minor adjustments in my diet, I can usually lose a few pounds. I say usually, because in the last two years, that hasn’t been happening as easily. What the heck is going on? Whatever is was, I needed to stop it in it’s tracks immediately.

For the record, I will tell you that I rarely drink alcohol and I have never smoked. I have never done drugs (other than those prescribed by a doctor for whatever reason), and I generally eat cleanly. My one weakness however, is that I have a sweet tooth. A serious sweet tooth. I cannot go a day without chocolate of some form, and I tend to like to “cleanse the pallet” with something sweet after consuming anything salty or non-sweet. It was a habit taught to me by my grandmother, who passed it to me at a young age. Thanks Nana.

As we age, our bodies change. It’s an inevitable fact of life. Most people struggle with weight at some time during their lives, to one extent or another. But I had grown sick of being (as a friend’s mother recently called me) “soft”. I’m sure she meant well, but it really hit home. It was that little comment, coupled with the fact that I found myself sucking in my gut on a regular basis, that made me realize I needed to make a change. That’s when I found hypnosis for weight loss.

I should say for full disclosure, that I don’t believe in diets. I have watched my mother, sister, and countless friends go on “diets” over the years that have proven fruitless. Maybe they lose a few quick pounds, but long term, they gain it back and go right back to their old eating habits. Diets don’t work. And for those of us who aren’t considered fully or “technically” overweight, but need to lose a few pounds for whatever reason, diets aren’t the answer.

I am a big believer in chiropractic and naturopathic approaches to wellness, in addition to the traditional approach to medicine. After getting in two minor car accidents over the last 10 years, where I sustained repeat neck and upper back injuries, I turned to chiropractic care for relief of my daily discomfort, because I did not want to be on pain meds. I saw several chiropractors over the years, but eventually landed on the doorstep of Doctor William McEvoy in 2011. Doctor McEvoy has been treating me ever since, and I credit him for the fact that I now live free from major pain or discomfort.

When he started New England Hypnosis and Weight Loss, I was intrigued. I had heard about this approach to weight loss, but never gave it much thought, because I never needed it. But with my recent weight gain, I wanted to take quick action and asked Doctor McEvoy about the process. After he explained it to me, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.

I arrived for the first of three weekly sessions to find a room filled with gravity chairs, which, if you’ve never seen one, are chairs that essentially suspend your body weight to make you feel like you are floating on air. It’s very relaxing. And no, you aren’t harnessed in or hanging upside down! It looks just like a lounge chair at the pool, only much lighter and more comfortable.

Several people brought blankets and pillows to make the most out of their new adventure, and what an adventure it was!

The environment in the room was very relaxing and calm. People spoke mainly in whispers or not at all. Most if not all of the participants were first timers, who understandably seemed a little nervous about the experience they were about to have. But those nerves went away fast when Doctor McEvoy entered the room, a smile from ear to ear, greeting his patients as he made his way to the front of the room. After a brief greeting, Doctor McEvoy began by first talking about how the three hypnosis sessions would work, and then he set about managing expectations, because as he explained, every person would have a journey unique to them, with different outcomes.

He then went into specific detail, discussing the eating plan he wanted everybody to follow, and explained that success would only come by learning the proper mindset to stick to the plan, and finding the discipline to eat right on a daily basis. This was about more than just hypnosis.

I won’t go into too much detail about the hypnosis techniques Doctor McEvoy employed, because he is the doctor, not me! But I will say that if you go into these sessions with an open mind, a strong desire to lose weight, and the discipline to stick with it, you will absolutely see results. Nothing will happen overnight, and it will be challenging for sure, but once you complete the sessions, you will have the necessary tools to reach your goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My hypnosis experience was unique to me (and thank God for that, because that circus tent scenario is not for everybody!) Each person will have a different experience with hypnosis, but one thing is certain – everyone will come away stronger, more confident, and looking at food in a whole new way.

While you are taking the sessions and after they end, you will be a member of a private Facebook group consisting of everyone who has been a part of Doctor McEvoy’s hypnosis sessions. Here, you can share your journey with others, share food recipes, get encouragement, give encouragement, and most of all, know that you are not alone as you continue your journey.

As for me, I am still working hard at reaching my goal weight and making progress. I feel more confident, and most importantly, more knowledgeable. Because as they say, knowledge is power.