Paul McKenna “I can make you thin” Review – Days 19 to 25

This is my first attempt to follow the Paul McKenna “I can make you thin”‘ principles. This attempt didn’t succeed. I tried again in March 2009, and this time it worked. If you want to read the successful trial, click here.


After finishing my last post on a negative note, I want to open with a more positive one.

Loosing weight with the Paul McKenna method is truly a different way, because I stopped obsessing over calorie counting, points couting, food control, the scale and the figures on the scale etc; and I had to focus on the core issues of why I am overweight.

Although I had an overall idea of these issues, letting go of the figures obsession and blogging about it helped me pinpoint the issues and start working on them. In a nutshell they are: using eating as a coping mechanism, lack of vision of myself as a healthy person and mild depression. These three causes are actually linked to each other.

Eating as a coping mechanism

Paul McKenna explains that over-eating releases a chemical in the brain that provokes a little sense of pleasure. To me, it means that over-eating is a sort of a drug and can be addicitive. I used that drug when I felt boredom or fear. One day, during the trial, I said to myself: I will no longer use eating to cope with these two feelings. On the evening I said that, I sunk into a state of despair and, I’m not lying to you, I had visions of my death. It was very strange, and also very scary. I went on the internet because it was so overwhelming and found a great article that said, in a nutshell: you feel desperate when you lack coping mechanisms to deal with situations of life… So I said to myself: ok, this feeling is normal since I’ve decided to remove the only coping mechanism I had.

The reason why I am writing this is to make you aware that it may happen to you; if you abruptly decide that you will no longer cope with stress by eating and that you don’t build other mechanisms, then you may find yourself in a situation where you lose the will to live. I can tell you that it happened to me and it was the start of a new way to think: it allowed me to put the first stones of a new mindset, so don’t despair if you have those feelings.

To cope with boredom, I am trying a few things: doing logic puzzles, learning and playing chess, call people up, watch funny videos, see friends, etc… The range of tools is limitless.

To cope with fear, I’m still learning. I try to address the situation that I face by looking right into it, but sometimes, the stress won’t go away, so I go for a walk until I’m able to relax.

This is a learning process, so I am sure I will come up with new techniques for both situations.

Lack of vision of myself as a healthy person

Apart from my physical appearance when I am healthy, I did not have a vision of myself as a healthy person in my daily life. I.E., how I am going to behave, what are the activities that I will do, etc. This is kind of related to the previous point, because vision of coping mechnisms are also important. But beyond those, what will I do as a healthy person.

I didn’t know, so I wasn’t compelled to reach that goal. I have been working on that vision, so try to make it rich and compelling. I have started to imagine the kind of sports I will do, the types of clothes I will wear, how confident I will feel… I realized that I could already start doing these things, I didn’t need to wait, and so I could start enjoying this new life, and see what I like, dislike and adapt my vision to make it more and more compelling.

Depression (mild)

I wrote “mild” depression, because I’ve heard about cases of depressed people who can’t bring themselves to get out of bed and do something with their day. I’m definitely not there… however, I think I have some symptoms. Again, it is also linked to the past two topics: lack of coping mechanisms makes me scared about living life to the fullest; lack of a compelling vision of the future makes me wonder what the point of life is.

Doing the Paul McKenna try made me sit down and try to address the issue. I’m not going to deliver an answer to the question: “what is the meaning of life?” because I still don’t know 🙂 However, I am realizing that it is not mandatory to have it all figured out to enjoy life and make meaningful actions.

I have started to start building a vision of the future not only as a healthy person, but as a happy person. Since being overweight makes me unhappy, my future happy self is definitely healthy 🙂 I actually had to sit down and write what I think will make me happy in the future and I adjust the vision. I imagine myself in my daily life, the type of persons I will see, the types of activities I want to do, etc. I haven’t figured out completely what would make me happy, but I know that I have experienced more positive feelings the past few days, so I will keep steering in that direction.


What I am writing about can be scary to a certain extent, because it is a deconstruction of what I was and it is entering the un-known. However it is full of hope and learning, and also success. I was able to do this work because I freed myself from the technical obsession of how much food I should put in my plate, what ingredients I am allowed to eat and how much I am weighing. I have five days left, and I cannot believe so much has happened in 25 days!!

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