I Can Make You Thin, Part 5: Your Perfect Body

Paul McKenna’s program dealt with self image this week.  One of his first statements in the show was, “I’m going to show you at home how to be confident in yourself.”

I’ll say this for the program as a whole, he has hit upon most of the big issues with weight loss.  On the practical side, his four rules, though nothing new, combined with exercise from episode four, is an effective diet (and it is a diet, no matter what he would prefer to call it).  As I said this is nothing new, and if people who watch his program or read his books stick to this plan, they will probably lose weight.

The other three episodes of his program have dealt with many of the psychological problems that lead to people being overweight and failing in their weight loss programs.  While helping people to deal with cravings and the negative self image that can cuase them to fail repeatedly in their attempts to lose weight is a laudable goal, it is Paul’s methodology that loses me.

This week he used something akin to role-playing to help people to “reprogram” (his word) their minds to ‘feel better about’ themselves.  The first part involved a symbolic removal and casting away of all of the bad thoughts they have about themselves (this seemed almost like a religious rite).  The second part involved imagining themselves in the body of a person that they assumed was confident in his or her own body, and then to transfer those thoughts to themselves, and finally, he encouraged them to look at themselves through the eyes of someone that they assumed to respect and love them.  They were then to transfer those thoughts to themselves, yet again.  All of these activities look like they come right out of a psychologists handbook (which, to me, actually elevates them above some of his other ideas)  I want to say here that I really hope these exercises do help his audience to feel better about themselves, since a positive attitude is integral to an effective weight loss program (tomorrow I will have a post explaining how my own program has dealt with this).

As I’ve stated before, I’m not a psychologist, but psychology was my major for three semesters in college.  I have about 20 hours of psychological theory under my belt.  The problem was that all of the classes I had only led me to become disillusioned with the field.  I used to say that psychological theories were largely based on psychologists coming up with ideas, throwing them against a wall, and if any of the ideas stuck, they went with them.  For me, psychology was developed by a group of men and women who were attempting to apply earthy answers to spiritual problems, and the roads seem to be littered with the corpses of psychology patients that failed to get emotionally better or got worse through the efforts of a psychological theory.

That being said, apart from the whole world becoming spiritually enlightened (and I mean through Christianity, as I am a Christian, and this global enlightenment is not very realistic), psychology is about the only alternative out there for people with real or emotional problems.

Paul McKenna’s program, TFT, self hypnosis and the like seem to take my problems with psychology a step further.  Here we have a theory whose only basis is to modify the way a person thinks through repetitive actions.  I will reiterate the fact that I have chosen not to participate in these actions (please view my other Paul McKenna posts for my reasons).

In the end, most of this theory looks like a big placebo to me.  That being said, the ‘placebo effect’ has proven that placebos can have a powerful effect on some people.  As I have stated before, I hope that lot’s of his viewers have success on his program.  However, I worry about those who are not affected in a positive manner.  Could their self image be even more damaged by yet another failure?  I guess that’s just how it is with all diets until you get one that works for you or you figure it out for yourself.


Good luck.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

One Response

  1. Thank you for taking the time to research and provide crucial links in reference to Paul McKenna and his “Scientists” that he used on the TLC “I Can Make You Thin” series. As someone who wants to shed a few pounds, I became interested in finding out what this ICMYT is all about. Although I think Paul McKenna teaches already well known rules to follow for preventing overeating, I had my doubts about the “Tapping” and the “Mind Programming” CD having any effect on my weight loss. Well, here I am, a month later, and have gained weight, not lost it, on this program. I know there are people out there who claim they lost lots of pounds (or stones on his British shows) doing the ICMYT but my experience has been the opposite. I guess it’s just a matter of Buyer Beware.

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