Janna Colaco Certified Hypnotherapist Blog

Everything listed under: Hypnosis

  • Spring into your Summer Body

    It’s easy to find motivation and enthusiasm when we reset our subconscious programming

    Body image can be a sneaky, tricky thing.  On the one hand, we want to be beautiful, fit, and let’s be honest— skinnier.  On the other hand, aren’t we supposed to love our body as we are, lumps and all?  Isn’t it shallow to want physical beauty?  Is it not more spiritual to be totally self-accepting regardless of our size?


    Certainly beauty is more than skin deep.  Pause for a moment and bring to mind someone you admire who is radiantly beautiful, yet on closer inspection, their beauty has nothing whatsoever to do with flawless skin, boob size, or perfect features.  


    Where is their beauty coming from?  A cheerful disposition, perhaps? A lightness of being, a sense of humor, an easy-to-be-with attitude?  Could it be self esteem, being comfortable in their own skin?— might these be the missing ingredients?


    “A good attitude isn’t enough!  I want to LOOK GOOD!” our inner diva shrieks.  Can we have both?  Yes, yes and emphatically yes!


    Let’s examine our beliefs:


    Thinking Error #1:  “I must love and accept my fat body; it’s what’s inside that counts.” 


    Wrong, wrong and wrong!  Being unhealthy is NOT self-love. Avoiding outdoor activities is NOT healthy. 


    In most cases, a defense against rejection is the culprit.  The most common reason for weight gain is overeating to squash chronic low-grade anxiety or feelings of dread.  


    In NO WAY is accepting oneself as fat a spiritual value, yet more and more of the time, I hear would-be spiritual-types hiding behind their ‘enlightenment’ as a way to justify giving up.


    What is spiritual?  Self care. Loving oneself enough to participate in life. So ask yourself this:  Do I love myself enough to move my body and feed it with love and respect?


    Thinking Error #2:  “It’s going to be hard.  I’m going to feel exhausted and deprived.”  


    That happened in the past.  But in the subconscious mind, anything is possible.  The preparation of healthy foods can be the best part of our day.  Exercise can be re-wired as something to look forward to.  Motivation can be re-wired to feel exhilarating.


    Thinking Error #3:  “I have to give up carbs.”  


    This is a societal collective belief.   So is war, for that matter.  You don’t have to buy in to the popular opinions of culture.  Smell, see and taste a tangerine.  Carbs are meant to be eaten!  If you think they cause inflammation, well, they do if you believe they do.  That’s how powerful your mind is.


    Overcoming chronic, low-grade anxiety is the number one weight loss and beauty miracle.  When anxiety goes, we are more present, radiant and joyful. We are far more motivated to eat well and participate in life, and life truly belongs to those who participate. 

  • The Inner Alchemy of Spring

    Discarding outdated thinking habits can clear our inner closet and make space for compassion and love.


    Last week I found myself spontaneously buying paint for the living room.  The cashier complemented my color choice, and remarked on how many people were spring-painting their walls!


    Spring is our time to remove stale clutter and shed what is no longer needed.  A gentle breeze through an open window, soft sunlight, or the scent of fresh flowers can move us forward with enthusiasm toward a clean new perspective.


    While we clear the garden, pantry or closet, springtime offers us an opportunity to release ineffective beliefs and outdated thinking habits.  


    Some of my favorite habits to discard this Spring include:


    Questioning others’ motives.  It’s inevitable we will encounter difficult people again and again.   The proverb, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins” reminds us we are all here for different experiences, and we shall never truly understand the path of another.


    We can never know for sure “why” someone behaves as they do.  Perhaps they have suffered.  Or maybe they took a vow to forget their own divinity in this lifetime, playing the role of villain so that we might overcome a fear or strengthen a gift. 


    Questioning others’ motives never provides the relief or closure we seek.  If we count up all the hours spent analyzing, labeling or attempting to make sense of others, we notice an increase, rather than a decrease, in our own confusion, frustration or hurt.  


    When possible, assume good intentions.   Hold them accountable by questioning only their judgement.  Their actions are under your scrutiny, not their motives.  This shift in perspective leaves their soul’s dignity and goodness intact.  This practice allows us to move toward compassion and understanding with even the most difficult souls.


    Perfectionism.  When we release perfectionism in favor of excellence, we choose self-love and worthiness.  The perfectionist who hides under baggy clothing at the beach, waiting to lose that last ten pounds, misses out on the joy of swimming and playing in the sand.  Better to shed the cover-up and participate!  Excellence implies living life to the fullest… even when we aren’t perfect.  Foregoing perfectionism takes courage.  Releasing self-consciousness is a powerful choice that frees us to create memories that last a lifetime.


    Being right.  Insistence on being right can derail personal growth.  Being right by definition automatically implies others are wrong.  The heightened energy we feel as we argue, upon closer inspection, derives its fervor and urgency from our deepest fears.


    Letting go requires courage and trust in the universe.  We release the need for things to go our way.  We can calmly offer our opinion while allowing others to do the same.  


    Outdated feelings of urgency, threat and fear are revealed as smoke and mirrors. ‘Let it go!’ becomes our mantra.  Internal windows open, cleansing mind and body, and we move forward with renewed enthusiasm for life.


  • Weight Loss and Hypnosis: A Love Infusion

    Janna, how does hypnosis and weight loss work? On the conscious and subconscious levels simultaneously. It heals and comforts. It creates courage and motivation. Feeling secure and relaxed is a huge part of achieving ideal weight.

    What kind of a diet plan do you use? Each client is unique, but in a nutshell, quality over quantity. You eat the freshest foods in season, using all the senses simultaneously. In hypnosis, we can train your subconscious to become satisfied from the look, smell, texture and flavor of the food. Very little is eaten to feel incredibly full… yet the food is delicious! I don’t let my clients eliminate entire food groups or spend three hours at the gym. That’s not love, it’s punishment.

    Can you hypnotize me to stop craving junk food? Yes, we certainly want to eliminate processed foods! But we still keep the indulgences in moderation.

    That sounds great, but doesn’t indulgence sometimes bring thoughts of binging?Binging feels terrible! There’s nothing indulgent about feeling stuffed, fat and sick. In hypnosis, we can make a little of the good stuff go a very long way. Do we eliminate chocolate? Absolutely not! Two bites of high quality chocolate is immensely satisfying.  You will feel full with less.

    Explain what you mean by “love-infused eating.” About twenty years ago, my kids and I were talking about my aunt’s cookies. They weren’t much to look at and the recipes were simple. But Aunty cooked with love, and you could taste the difference. We were on vacation and my son said, “Mommy, the cook put love in my hamburger!” It became a game to identify the love in food.

    How does this “love-infused eating” work with hypnosis? Not only do we energetically infuse our own food with love as we prepare and eat it, we also hypnotize the subconscious to receive love and self-care. We treat meal time as sacred… never eating standing up, in front of the TV, or in the car. When we feel loved and valued, we would never over-stuff ourselves or eat from boredom.

    It sounds like I have to cook and eat on plates! To be perfectly honest, yes. Loving yourself implies investing energy into yourself. So, for instance, I could hypnotize you to love cooking, because that’s good for you. I could hypnotize you to make meal preparation the best part of your day. My favorite thing is to collect beautiful antique china and grow my own roses to set on the table. I’ve used self-hypnosis to receive love from the dishes, flowers and food.

    Do you coach your clients about exercise or just diet? Yes, I use the same indulgent strategy. I don’t advocate spending three hours at the gym or marathon training. Ouch! But they are encouraged to take mindful nature walks and absorb the beauty around them. Twenty minutes of walking on the beach or playing in the pool is all that’s needed.

    Janna Colaco, C.Ht., is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Therapeutic Imagery Facilitator practicing in downtown Fullerton. She has coached motivational transformation since 1986. Janna is a Healing Minister, NLP Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner and Yoga Teacher. You can reach her at 714-269-6908 or at jannacolaco@mac.com, and mechanicsofgrace.com.

  • Connecting With Your Guides

    Imagine you had the ability to meet and converse directly with your own inner guides… those wise, loving beings who have only your best interest at heart. If you’ve ever sat with an intuitive healer who reported seeing an angel, guide or loved one close by, you may have thought, “Wow!  I wish I could see my own guides… I wish I could do that!”  With hypnotherapy, you can.  I help clients achieve these connections every day. Guides can help us in times of our greatest need.  If we’re lonely, afraid or confused, our guides can soothe us with love, comfort, healing or clarity.  The relaxation achieved under hypnotherapy releases resistance, allowing you to meet your guides personally.Here are three major advantages to having your own relationship with an inner guide:


    1.  To experience unconditional love.  Despite our sometimes-rocky life situations, a true wise, loving guide has unconditional love for us.  Under hypnosis, we speak with our guides face to face and heart to heart.  Their love fills us in ways that affect us profoundly.  Feeling loved at this level helps us to overcome self-doubt and experience worthiness.  We heal and move forward, opening to greater joy with less clinginess and dependence on our imperfect earthly partners.


    2.  Have access to universal wisdom.  When we see ourselves through the eyes of our guide, we know how strong and capable we are.  Life decisions can be made clear with the help of our guide.  Should we quit our job?  Move to that new city?  Change our relationship status?  Which path is the right one for us?  A true wise, loving inner guide has only our best interest at heart, helping with all kinds of decisions.


    3.  To have someone we can trust.  Guides are trustworthy.  A loving inner guide has so much compassion and tenderness that we can share anything... our heart is safe and protected.

    Later, our guides might go with us to heal our inner child, or receive understanding from a past life.  We feel secure and protected, just in case things get sticky.  A guide can pull out past trauma, help to block us from our own insecurities, and shield us from the impact of negative people or thoughts.

    Nothing comforts, strengthens, or provides courage and insight like a close inner guide relationship.  They come whenever needed, always and ever-ready to help, empower and light the way for us anywhere, anyplace, anytime.

    Brainstorm about your goals and dreams.  Bring in your questions.  Find your guide... it's a relationship that will last a lifetime!



  • MASTERING THE LAW OF ATTRACTION WITH HYPNOSIS

    The Law of Attraction is an amazing yet elusive tool for most of us.  What would we like to create?

    A healthier body?

    Love?

    Positive thinking habits?

    Money?

    Creativity?

    Beautiful home/lifestyle?

    Happiness?

    If you have ever seen The Secret, or listened to Abraham, the concept of creating your own dreams seems simple.  When it comes to manifesting your desires, there are only a couple of basic skills required: 

    1)  Visualization of the happy outcome, and

    2)  The tricky part... feeling emotionally good... really good... ecstatic even... so that our feelings are in alignment with the positive result, as though it's already happened.

    So I have a question:  How easy is it for you to feel better when you've just lost your partner in life, or lost your job, or had some unexpected curve ball thrown at you, and you need the Law of Attraction the most?  Can you 'climb up the emotional scale' and feel abundant, happy and loved when you're consumed with being worried, afraid, in the pit of despair?  

    It sucked for me too, for the longest time.  Thankfully, hypnosis (or 'the missing link' as I like to call it) came to the rescue for me time and time again.  I like to think if Forrest Gump were a real person, he would probably say that Hypnosis and the Law of Attraction go together like peas and carrots.

    Back when I worried for a living (I kid, I kid!), or rather, jumped like a monkey from one worry-tree to the next, I would regularly confuse angst and yearning, or wanting and needing, with the Law of Attraction.  When I'd meditate on what I wanted, nothing good would come, just more wanting and yearning, wanting and yearning, wanting and yearning.  I just couldn't get my emotions to feel good, and I really tried, so, so hard!  All that trying hard never worked, so the Law of Attraction thing would typically backfire in my face or land squarely on my thighs.

    So I went to my amazing mentor, a hypnotherapist who's been teaching and practicing for many years, and had her put my crying, sniveling self in a deep trance, where I let her work me into a state of genuine great feeling, with my heart bursting with love, and tears of gratitude rolling down my cheeks... I experienced and felt the immense relief, the releasing and letting go of worry on an emotional level.  At which point the results came!  Every.  Single. Time.

    I'm happy to say, life is great.  I continue to visit my mentor every month or two, because things are unfolding and manifesting so quickly I continuously find myself in new and uncharted waters.  And when I get myself in alignment, the Law of Attraction brings me just the right clients at just the right time in their lives for me to help them with the exact same thing.  It's uncanny!

    If you know someone who could use a boost with the emotional side/vibrational energy part of the Law of Attraction, please pass my information along to them.  And if you're in the Fullerton, CA area on the 29th of July 2017, we're having a Law of Attraction group workshop that Saturday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Purple Yoga on Amerige Ave.  Or you can drop me an email for a more personalized appointment here in the office.  As Einstein said, "Everything is energy and that's all there is to it.  Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.  It can be no other way.  This is NOT philosophy.  This is PHYSICS."

  • How to Make a Holiday Hypnosis Vision Board

    When I became a Certified Hypnotherapist, I finally learned how to stop struggling with my weight over the holidays.

    I wanted the skinny body AND the cookies too, the coziness, the satisfaction, the clean house, the peace, the holiday spirit.  Once I figured out the secret to having it all, I've been helping clients do the same.  Wouldn't it be great to have the treats AND be thin?

    There following tips are designed to give you your excellent body and your cookies too, without the deprivation. 

    For your vision board, you will need:

    1.  An over-sized piece of card stock or poster board

    2.  A glue stick

    3.  A few of your favorite holiday magazines

    Cut or tear out the pictures that appeal to you the most.  Don't edit this!  Is it that aromatic home-made bread image?  The beautiful turkey?  The clean house?  The cute cookies? The Size 2 woman with the beautiful outfit?  Or maybe you love the images  of crafts, decorations or crackling fireplaces. Again, DON'T EDIT!  You want the most delicious goodies, the most amazing bodies the most well-behaved children, happiest families you can find.  The trick is to only grab what you are drawn to the most.

    Next, how do you want to feel?  cut out positive words... some examples are: 

    SLENDER

    LIGHT

    STYLISH

    COZY

    SATISFIED

    SECURE

    LOVED

    IN CONTROL

    HAPPY

    ENERGETIC

    JOYOUS

    EXCITED

    RELAXED

    GRACIOUS

    These are positive statements of how you want to feel, how you wish you could feel, or how you'd like to feel instead.  

    Paste everything collage-style on the board, both words and images, and put the vision board near your bed, where you will see it before you fall asleep, and particularly when you wake up in the morning.  

    There is a 30-minute window just prior to falling asleep, and a morning time after hitting 'snooze' but before getting up when we are in a natural state of hypnosis.  

    So, before you fall asleep and before you get up, focus on the Vision Board.  Think about the feelings you want.  

    You will do this every night, and every morning for reinforcement.

    If weight control is an issue, reflect on the fact that those who are naturally slender eat everything they want in moderation.  They know that the first few bites taste the best.  The women in your magazine images don't binge. They don't worry or wallow, they don't stress.  They don't deprive themselves.    They feel full of love and satisfaction... and that's where these images pull that cozy feeling into the subconscious mind.  

    Remember, the QUANTITY of food doesn't satisfy you, it's the quality.  The quantity is only there to numb the ache, the hurt, the emptiness.

    So, we use the vision board to put the Christmas spirit into the subconscious.  There's a belly full of joy, a satisfied feeling.  Treats can be eaten, yet you can feel satisfied after two bites of cookie.  This is the meditation you do as you gaze sleepily at your vision board, especially in the morning.  Become committed to the experience.  Allow the comfort in, and dissolve the deprivation.

    You can have your cookies, and eat them too!

    Hypnotically Yours,

    Janna

  • Self-Hypnosis: The Thrill of Victory or the Agony of Defeat?

    Determining the best times to practice self-hypnosis

    Have you ever considered self-hypnosis?  As a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, I advise my clients there are situations where self-hypnosis can work wonders!  It all depends on the emotional situation.  It's important they know when to use it, when not to use it, and why.  Hopefully, this story will help you decide when, and when not, to self-hypnotize.

    My first foray into self hypnosis was back in 1978, and it was a complete disaster.  

    I was seventeen.  My then-boyfriend and I had been to see the Pat Collins' show up in Hollywood.  Pat was famous back then as "Pat Collins, The Hip Hypnotist."  Her shows were sell-outs, every time.  I was mesmerized.  I was hooked!  This was fascinating!  As an audience member, I had been astounded that I was so easily hypnotized.  "I wonder if I could hypnotize myself just the way Pat Collins did?" I pondered.  Wow, I bet I could hypnotize myself to love running!  I wanted to like it.  I wanted to love it.  I wanted to be normal!

    Previously, my daily runs played out in my head something like this (decidedly NOT normal):

    "I hate running!  Why can't I go past a mile?  This sucks!"  I would tell myself, gasping for air.     

    "There must be something wrong with me," my inner voice would continue.  "Other people get used to running.  Why can't I? I've been at this for months.  I'm so weak and nauseous.  My legs hurt.  My stomach hurts.  My neck hurts. I think I'm going to die.   Please, God, let me die right now!  I'm slow.  What if somebody I know sees me... I can't even shuffle one foot in front of the other.  This is so boring!  Do I look fat from the side?  This bra hurts.  What am I doing wrong?  When will it feel better?  Where are the so-called endorphins everybody talks about?  I'm fat!  I should be able to do this.  Maybe I have exercised-induced asthma.  There must be something really wrong with me.  Maybe I have MS or MD.  Lymphoma?  That would explain this weakness.   I can't, I can't, I can't!" 

    Back in 1978, running had taken over as the exercise of salvation throughout Southern California.  James Fixx (who later fell dead of a heart attack while running) had just written a book about this new fitness craze.  Running was what everybody was doing.   It was the in-thing.  Even my once out-of-shape, gray-haired mother was running 10K's.  She would run them with my little brother Jonny, who was only about seven years old at the time.  Jonny loved running.  Mom loved running.  The whole world loved running but me!

    "That was great!" Mom and Jonny would pant, as they returned from their latest beach run, sweaty and elated, tanned and toned, claiming they'd experienced massive rushes of endorphins.  "You should join us, Janna... you'd really like it.  It's such a beautiful day!  We ran clear to the beach, we saw some dolphins!  You should come with us... we could all have so much fun!"  

    "But I hate running! I can't do it!" I cried.

    Shame bubbled up as I remembered the voice of my seventh grade English teacher, Miss LaValle.  "We do not hate!  Hate is not a good word!  We may dislike intensely, but we never hate!"  Sorry, Miss LaValle.  I don't dislike running intensely.  I freaking HATE it!

    That's when the idea hit.  I'd use hypnosis!  I'd be just like Pat Collins!  Obviously, it was my mindset, that was the problem.  I needed to hypnotize myself to love running!  Then I could be skinny and normal, part of the in-crowd!  

    I charged straight over to the spare bedroom.  I tried to remember what Pat Collins had done to put us all into the hypnotic state.  Oddly enough, as I repeated her induction suggestions to myself, I found I went easily, fully and deeply into hypnosis.  I was kind of surprised.

      "I'm doing it!"  I thought.  I was excited.  Naturally, I started to visualize and imagine myself running.  I imagined the pain, the agony.  I told myself to stop feeling bad RIGHT NOW, I was to enjoy running.  I told myself I wouldn't feel nauseated anymore.  I told myself I wouldn't feel so terrible.  I told myself I wouldn't be such a fat pig.  I told myself I could make it up that horrible, steep hill.  Problem was, I was imagining the exact opposite of positive imagery and emotions.  I was imagining my usual horror, and trying to make it go away.

    I didn't know any better.  I wasn't a hypnotherapist back then, just a simple teenage girl.  So what I did, quite by accident, was focus on what I DIDN'T want.  The subconscious can't understand "not nauseated."  It has no language.  It simply internalized the physical feeling of "nauseated."  The deeper mind can't interpret the word "NOT."  "NOT a fat pig" simply means "fat pig" to the subconscious mind.  As I imagined myself running, I couldn't help but pull in my own personal negative experience of running. Negativity had been my only known association to running.   So what happened?  I went for a run later, and I felt even worse.  I had inadvertently hypnotized myself to feel worse!

    Don't get me wrong, self-hypnosis can be a great tool when used properly.  However, when attempting to feel better when you feel bad, self-hypnosis can backfire on you, like it did with me.  The following is a partial list of times NEVER, EVER to use self-hypnosis.

    NEVER, EVER USE SELF-HYPNOSIS:

    1.  When you're depressed.  You'll pull that depression deeper into the subconscious mind.

    2.  When you're in pain.  You'll pull that pain in even deeper.  You can't focus on a negative in order to turn it into a positive (even though three lefts do make a right).  

    3.  Never use self-hypnosis if somebody just broke up with you.  

    4.  When somebody you love died.

    5.  Anytime there's a negative emotion or negative situation that you want to eliminate.

    In all of the above cases, hetero-hypnosis, not self-hypnosis works far better.  Hetero-hypnosis means you get the help of a Certified Hypnotherapist, who can change your state of mind to the positive.

    A good analogy is this:  Imagine a patient ready for open-heart surgery.  The highly trained surgical team shaves and carefully disinfects the chest area.  The operating room is clean, controlled and well-lit.  The surgeons and nurses are scrubbed, with hair nets on their heads, sterile clothing, gloves and cute little blue booties over their shoes.  The instruments have been carefully sanitized.  Why?  Because when the human body is open, it is vulnerable.  Nobody wants to contaminate the open heart with germs, loose hairs, dandruff, bad breath or sneeze juice (which is why they wear masks).

    Hypnosis creates access to your subconscious mind, which is no different than the surgeon preparing for surgery.  No negative emotions or suggestions should be introduced to the open subconscious mind.  Only positive suggestions AND EMOTIONS should be present.  If you see a hypnotherapist because you are in emotional or physical pain, he or she will help you create a positive feeling in-state BEFORE that positive feeling is anchored deeper.  When changing a negative emotion to a positive one, you need the help of a trained professional.  Otherwise, you're pulling in your negative mood.  You'd never allow a dirty surgeon to touch your open heart; therefore you mustn't bring bad feelings to your open mind.  There are times, however, when self-hypnosis can be quite effective:

    THE BEST TIMES TO USE SELF-HYPNOSIS:

    1.  When you are feeling very confident.  You can anchor that confidence deeper in self-hypnosis;

    2.  When you are at peace and relaxed, for the same reason;

    3.  When you have been given self-hypnosis homework by a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.  In that case, there has been a post-suggestion and/or blocks placed to keep you away from the negative path;

    4.  Anytime you want to reinforce a pre-existing positive feeling, like winning a race (provided you've won a race and felt great while doing it).  If you focus on the positive, more positive will come.

    As I write this, I am not seventeen anymore.  At fifty-five, I am in far better shape than I was at seventeen.  But the best part is I love physical activity.  Don't get me wrong, that old negative mind-set emerged occasionally from time to time, but with the help of my mentor, I have overcome self-consciousness and negativity when it comes to physical exercise.  I have taught yoga and competed in open-water ocean swims.  I have made peace with my body and I enjoy life now more than I ever did.  As Snoopy used to say, "Youth is wasted on the young!"

    To learn more about how hypnotherapy can help you, please don't hesitate to call or schedule an appointment.

    Hypnotically yours,

    Janna

    Janna Colaco, C.Ht., is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master Therapeutic Imagery Facilitator in private practice in Downtown Fullerton.  She is also a Licensed NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master, Ordained Healing Minister, and Yoga Teacher.  An honors graduate of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Janna has received numerous awards for achievement in transformational hypnotherapy, and has coached both individuals and groups in motivational transformation since 1986.  






  • I Fell in a Vat of Chocolate. A story of survival by hypnosis!

    The Birth of the Best and the Worst Recipe Ever:

    It was 1975, and my Aunt Helen (also known as The Greatest Cook in The World) concocted a new addition to her Christmas cookie selection: Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Balls.

    If you were to eat them, you would understand immediately the name doesn’t do them justice. They should be called something like, “Sex Dipped in Chocolate” or, “Relationship Replacement Nuggets.” My cousin and I declared them our “last meal on death row” food. To say they were good would be the understatement of the century. We would gleefully gorge on them until, like, February.

    Long about March, I would curse my reflection in the mirror, work up enough disgust and self-loathing, and launch into some starvation/exer-kill regimen that would temporarily rid me of my chocolate tonnage until the next holiday season, when the vicious cycle would kick back up again.

    in 2001, Aunty died of heart failure, surrounded by Hershey’s Kiss wrappers. We miss her greatly, but her Crunch Ball recipe lives on. I’d make them for my family, eating about half the batch myself in the process. Little did I know, my 12% willpower was not enough to stand up to my 88% “Chocolate/Peanut Butter Monster” below.

    Doomed to Make Them Forever! How Could This Happen?!

    The only way to stay thin was to forget them, leave the recipe in the box, or better yet burn it. Maybe shoot some silver bullets through it’s heart. Or was it a wooden stake? I couldn’t remember. I could imagine that recipe screeching and disintegrating like a Horcrux straight out of Harry Potter. The solution? Just don’t do any baking, right? Wrong.

    The Devil Balls are in my divorce settlement. That’s right. Laugh! But in 2010, Mike decided to settle our divorce based on the agreement that I would continue to make him that infernal recipe as part of the friggin’ divorce settlement! I’m certain those cookies were the reason he’d married me in the first place, and he wasn’t about to go down without a fight. Exhausted and broke, I caved in.

    Cut to December, 2013

    I was a new hypnotherapist with tools. I’d practiced self-hypnosis zealously for weight loss. Tackle the most important issues first, that’s my motto! I was proud and smug. I was thin and toned. It was the first holiday season I actually felt good about my physical body. I felt great! Then, of course, the phone rang.
    “Hey Jan, it’s me, Mike… I just wanted to remind you about my balls…?”

    “Goddammit!” I muttered. How would I make them without eating them? The only way is with your hands. You squish together the ingredients. It’s impossible with a mixer or spoon. Aunty said so, and she knew everything. Besides, I’ve tried. Plus, you gotta dip them in, like, eight pounds of melted chocolate from Trader Joes. Trader Joe’s wasn’t around in Aunty’s day, but my friend Judy says its the best. (Next to Aunty, Judy knows everything there is to know about chocolate.) It’s impossible for me not to test some of the chocolate to make sure it’s not poisoned. I’m a good person, it’s my duty. I felt my new thin body slipping away…

    Hold the Phone! I’m a Hypnotist!

    A normal hypnotist would have given herself the suggestion that she wouldn’t be tempted. Not me. That’s no fun! That’s just more of that deprivation nonsense. No, I wanted to eat them. It was Christmas. But I wanted to be skinny too. Eat them AND be skinny? Would it work? What would I do?

    And then, just like the Grinch, I got a wonderful, awful idea! “What if,” I thought to myself, “I was able to hypnotize myself to feel as though I’d eaten them, only not really?”

    “But I don’t want to feel bloated and sick,” the more reasonable side of my personality argued.

    “Then why don’t we compromise?” And with that, I concocted a plan. I walked to the couch. I went into hypnosis, and told myself something like this:

    Self-Hypnotic Brilliance

    I put myself into a medium hypnoidal state. I told myself, “Visualize, imagine, pretend, it’s Sunday morning. You walk into the kitchen. You light some cozy candles, look at your beautiful restored 1947 Wedgewood stove, and make coffee.” You are in your pink pig slippers, and you are by yourself. It’s a cozy day, a perfect day for baking, and you are excited and filled with holiday spirit. See yourself putting on Christmas music.

    “You make yourself a healthy breakfast. You sit down with a candle and enjoy eating. When you are finished, you carry your coffee and dirty dishes back to the kitchen and put the plate in the dishwasher. Feel how full and satisfied you are, as you begin to assemble the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Ball ingredients…

    “You measure out the ingredients into the big blue bowl. As you watch the ingredients coming together, you inhale deeply, enjoying the aromas. The aromas are extra strong today, and each time you see, feel and smell the ingredients, it will be as though you have fully absorbed their essences and eaten them. The smells, fragrances and sounds will be so satisfying that there will be no need to eat any of it. Smelling, touching and seeing are so much more important and satisfying. In fact, the more you smell, feel and enjoy the process, the more satisfied you become.

    “From time to time, you might try to put your fingers in your mouth and taste something, but the harder you try to remember that old habit, the more difficult it becomes. You understand the taste wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as the satisfaction you already feel with the smells.

    “Your sense of satisfaction grows stronger and stronger, and the more you cook, the more satisfied you feel. And now, it’s time to melt the chocolate.

    “As you unwrap the chocolate bars, the smell of chocolate overwhelms you, and you will feel as though you have already eaten all the chocolate you could possibly want. The smell of chocolate is so strong now, that you are completely satisfied and there will be no desire whatsoever to eat anything.

    Each time you look at your finished recipe, it will be as though you’ve already eaten it, and you will be so satisfied, but still feel thin and slender.”

    And that’s what I did. It was one of the best days of my life. I’ve never enjoyed a process more, and I never once took a bite, and never once licked a finger, and never once felt deprived. In fact, it felt better than had I actually eaten anything! “I’m a genius!” I said to myself, and meant it.
    Of course, I didn’t gain weight.

    Cut to Later Sunday Evening, Unable to Sleep:

    I’m usually a good sleeper. But that night, I kept waking up. “What’s wrong?” said my significant other. “I can’t sleep. That chocolate smell is too strong. It’s in my nose and it won’t go away.”

    “What chocolate smell?”

    “My God, can’t you smell it? I melted chocolate earlier and the stench is overpowering! I can’t sleep! It’s up my nose! I CAN’T SLEEP!!!!”

    “What stench?” He said. “Did you make those chocolate things? I can’t smell them.”

    “Crap!” I thought. I overdid the hypnosis again. Better not exaggerate so much next time.

    Before I knew what was happening, he lurched toward the bedroom door, and I heard him stomp through the living room toward the kitchen, and I could hear the refrigerator door open. Then, I heard him making a cup of tea. After a long, long time, he returned, positively reeking of chocolate.

    Here’s the recipe:

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Balls
    by Helen Hopper

    2C Chunky Peanut Butter
    2C Powdered Sugar
    4C Rice Krispies
    1C Chopped nuts and/or Coconut
    1 cube (1/2C) melted butter

    German’s Sweet or semi-sweet chocolate for dipping. Tons. You can’t buy enough. This recipe fills your entire refrigerator and every pan and cookie sheet you own, plus all of your neighbors’.

    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with hands thoroughly & shape into 1″ balls. Refrigerate 1 hour on greased cookie sheets or greased parchment paper. Melt chocolate and dip using a fork and a spoon. Refrigerate.

    Be careful. It could wind up in your divorce settlement.