Note from Steve Wells: Way back in 2005 Emma Watson used tapping to release her emotional attachments to food and weight issues. Over the next year or so she was able to effortlessly lose over 20 kg (45+ pounds) and keep it off. I first asked Emma to write about the process she used back in 2011 and she wrote this inspiring article. Recently, I spoke to Emma again about her successful weight loss which she has now maintained for 12 years! I wanted to dig deeper because it is clear to me that Emma was able to change her body's SET point so she is not faced with having to fight her body to maintain her weight loss as are many people who lose weight.
Very few obese or very overweight people succeed with long-term weight loss, most gain the weight back within a year or two. New evidence demonstrates the power of your body's set-point in preventing weight loss, creating real physiological changes that make it more difficult for you to keep weight off and easier to put it on again! Studies of Biggest Loser participants found 6 years after the program most had regained the pounds lost and their metabolism had slowed and they were burning fewer calories per day than before the show! So when you try to lose weight through diet and exercise your body literally tries to "hold on" to the fat and keep you at your weight set-point, slowing down your metabolic rate, making it harder to maintain fat loss and easier to gain it back.
Below Emma outlines in detail how she used tapping to create successful sustainable long-term weight loss and change her set-point so that she now finds it easy to maintain her current healthy weight. There is gold here, if you pay attention.
Emma's Successful Tapping for Long-term Weight-loss Story in her own words:
In February 2005 after years of dieting, caught in the cycle of gaining and losing weight and experiencing overwhelming self-hatred, I had had ENOUGH, and really I had HAD ENOUGH. I had reached the point of being sick of the struggle, sick of weight being such an ongoing issue for me. Desperate is the word that most closely describes my emotional state at that time.
Inspired by an EFT eBook I had purchased from Drs Look, Carrington and Radomski and some basic information from EFT newsletters I received at the time I started tapping. At this point I did not believe that tapping would address my weight issues, I was just looking for something that might help, even partially.
To begin I tapped on certain foods I felt ‘out of control’ with (those foods that I would eat the whole packet of – chocolate coated almonds and bread rolls with cheese and bacon bits already melted on, these were a couple of the foods that fit this category for me). Once I remember standing in my kitchen tapping with one hand as I stuffed bread rolls into my mouth with the other hand (there’s an elegant look for you).
I also addressed:
1. General self-hatred and hatred of my body. In 2005 I wasn’t aware of the Simple Energy Techniques developed by Steve Wells and Dr David Lake so I was using phrases from the EFT manual at the time that went along the lines of “Even though I have this issue, I completely and deeply love and accept myself” or a slight variation on these words. The idea of loving and accepting myself was revolutionary to me. It was a good starting point for letting go of the hatred and replacing that with healthier beliefs.
2. The resistance I had to being thin (really the fear of being thin). I had lost weight several times prior 2005 and it always came back with more. I remember tapping on the issue of my body having a set-point (a weight that it was determined to keep me at) as I felt at the time that my body was ‘fighting’ to keep me at heavier and heavier set points AND more importantly AWAY from lighter weights that I wanted my body to ‘stick’ at.
3. The guilt and more toxic shame of being fat. The scales and the numbers they showed were a huge trigger for me as were clothing sizes. I worked on the guilt, shame and other negative feelings that would often trigger me into eating even more as I felt so terrible about myself.
4. My metabolism and any physical issues that I believed were hindering my weight loss. At that time I had been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome by my doctor. My very basis understanding of this syndrome is that it’s basically a hormonal issue with symptoms that can include weight gain BUT weight gain then tends to make the hormones even more out of balance and it becomes a negative spiral.
5. ALL the failed attempts to lose weight and keep it off and the despair, disappointment and anger towards myself. There were so many of these failed attempts. I addressed those that had the most ‘emotional charge’ or bad feelings when I thought of them.
6. The emotional reasons why I ate which was primarily to avoid uncomfortable feelings. You name it, I ate to avoid it. I tapped on the association between every negative emotion that was linked with food for me (it was all of them of course, and I worked on all of them individually and thoroughly).
7. Fear of not losing weight and living my life overweight. I think this was my biggest fear in retrospect. The thought of this made me feel very uncomfortable and physically ill but did not stop me eating. Until I addressed this it was an easy sabotage that I reacted to again and again.
8. The belief that I would never lose weight and keep it off successfully as I had never been able to do this in the past. I tapped on my (massive) doubts that I would be able to do this in the future.
9. General feelings of not ‘being enough’. As I tapped on the issues associated with weight and food I realised that there were other areas of my life where I didn’t feel good. At that time the phrase that resonated was feeling like I ‘wasn’t enough’. I addressed work and personal issues relating to this.
I attribute my long term success to several key points that influenced the way that I tapped on this issue back in 2005:
- I had reached a point that I had had enough of this weight issue and I was truly desperate for change. I had a little experience with tapping having been shown the technique by a colleague in 2002 and wasn’t sure that it would ‘work’ for this issue. Of course, I used it anyway and I am so glad I did.
- I tapped a lot on weight and ALL the surrounding issues as a priority. I wasn’t working on several areas of my life at once with tapping. My weight issues were my ONLY priority for several months. I wasn’t expecting all these issues to clear in a week or two; I knew this was my main problem in life and that it needed persistence and a through approach.
- Although I didn’t tap every day on this issue I did tap regularly, mostly several times per week.
- I addressed ALL aspects of the problem, even ones I didn’t think I had. I wanted to be THOROUGH and get everything. I didn’t dismiss anything as not applying to me. I tapped on everything I knew COULD be impacting on my weight issue even if I thought that maybe they were other people’s issues but didn’t apply to me. I didn’t really know why weight was such a struggle for me and this worked to my advantage because I tapped on EVERYTHING I could think of that MIGHT be a reason or contributing factor.
- I kept a written record of what I was tapping on and used the SUDS scale to check in from time to time with my emotional response. This made sure that I was keeping on addressing all parts of this issue I had over several tapping sessions.
It’s now 2017, twelve years later and the interesting thing is that now I have a new set point for my weight which it is hard for me to stray from. My doctor actually commented on this the last time I was in his room. He asked me ‘how do you stay at the same weight (when everyone else is getting fatter/having such a struggle)? I choose to spare him the full answer explaining the tapping and the internal shift that I had made; he didn’t know me ten years ago and has only known me thin. I did say that it was easy for me and it really is. People are amazed with how much I eat, how I almost always make really health food choices and there is no struggle, no ‘being good’, it really is a non-issue for me now.
In retrospect I changed my identity in relation to this issue. I know have completely different beliefs around my body and my weight which are much healthier and more positive for my body and mind.
Emma Watson, June 2017
Emma can be contacted at New Growth Psychological Services
From Steve Wells: Was this article helpful? Please leave a comment below and also let us know what challenges you've had in creating and sustaining long-term weight loss.