Monday, March 10, 2008

Doing it for ME

After a lot of careful consideration, I decided to stop seeing my nutritionist. The thing is I truly love my nutritionist and I feel like I was getting a lot out of our appointments. She's been helpful in so many ways, but ultimately, I felt like I was in it for the wrong reasons. I wouldn't go to sessions, even if I had to pay for them, because I felt like I was going to let her down. I'd want to tell little white lies about things I ate, or didn't eat, or things I did, or didn't do, because I didn't want to feel embarrassed. I'd stop journaling my food because I was embarrased by what I thought she would think. So I have known for a while that I really needed to think long and hard about this.

In fact, during our last session, which was about a month ago, I mentioned all of this to Erin. I told her that I felt like I was wasting my money by coming in every other week and not seeing any changes. That was a big thing for me. I felt as if it was just a waste of everyone's time if I was ultimately not willing to make the changes that would help me lose weight and commit to something- anything- that would help me get on the right track. It just didn't make sense to me and I was getting fed up at the end of our time together. We've been working together for quite some time, and yet, nothing. I mean lots of progress along the way, but nothing to show for the work that we did together.

Interestingly enough, I had one of the best sessions with Erin the last time we met. She had me do a visualization exercise. I was told to close my eyes and imagine myself and three different places in my life- at my current weight or a little heavier, at my normal weight and then at my ideal weight.

At each place I was to imagine my day. I wake up, get out of bed and take pause to think about how I feel. I go to my closet and pick out my clothing. Then I go to the bathroom and get dressed and look in the mirror. I go outside in the world and go about my day. I interact with my boss, my friends, my co-workers, my husband, my dog, etc. I was to think about how I feel all throughout the day. What do I think about? How is my mood? What's my energy like?

It was really fascinating and kind of sad to think about myself at my current weight in contrast to the other two places (my ideal and normal weight are the same in my mind). At my current weight, I get out of bed with a total heaviness. I am not excited about what I'm going to wear. In fact, I pick out clothing based on what's not going to feel uncomfortable around my waist. Some days this involves an elastic waistband, others not. Looking in the mirror? Not a chance. There are two mirrors in my house- one is the bathroom cabinet thingy above the sink. The other is also in the bathroom and has at all times enough stuff covering it so that there's no chance of me catching a glimpse of myself.

Yes, I know how pathetic and sad that sounds. I get it. But at the same time, this is honestly how I live my life. I DO NOT under any circumstances like to see myself in the mirror.

Anyway, my day is filled with lots and lots of work. When I do go outside, maybe to walk my dog, I am constantly thinking if other people who drive or walk by think that I'm overweight. Do they judge me the same harsh way that I judge myself? Do they think I'm lazy? The interaction that I have with people I know is fine. That's one constant in my life and something that I never question. In fact, as I told Erin during this exercise, I wish I could see myself through my friends' eyes. They absolutely love me for exactly who I am and my weight never even crosses their mind. It's not an issue. And when I can think rationally, I know that love and unconditional support is an extension of exactly what I give to each of them and what I deserve. Not just of my friends and family, but of myself. I need to get to that place where I can not only deal with myself but actually love myself.

A HUGE revelation that came out of this for me was understanding that one of the main reasons that I work as much as I do (and believe me, I've honestly been cutting back in the past few weeks) is because I'm good at it. I spend so much of my day thinking about how overweight I am and how awful I feel about myself as a result of that, and how much of a failure I feel like because I can't get my shit together. So I combat that by working because I'm good at what I do, I like it, it makes me feel good about myself because I'm spending time working on something that helps me forget that there's this other huge area of my life that feels like a complete and total failure.

When I got of bed at my normal/ideal weight, I was happy to greet the world. I envisioned myself flinging my closet doors wide open and then being so excited to pick out my clothes. I had a spring in my step. I felt good. I looked good. I liked myself.

I want to get to that place. I really do.

So getting back to the original part of this post...Erin suggested that I consider coming every week. She knew that in order for this to really work, I needed to be willing to show up every week and have that accountability. And I left really thinking that was exactly what I was going to do. She insisted I take the ride home and the weekend to think about it and to let her know.

That was on February 8th.

I JUST contacted Erin today to let her know that I've decided to go at it on my own. My reasons are because there was something about the approach that wasn't working for me. After working with Erin and my therapist for about a year and a half, there was no significant change in my weight. Yes, I've learned an insane amount about myself, but at the end of the day, my weight is the thing that I want and need to change the most. So I felt like needed a change in this approach.

It's been a week and a day since I implemented this new change and I'm feeling good. I know this is a pattern for me. I get on these kicks and don't stick with it that long. I'm not trying to put myself down, but I am being honest about recognizing the pattern here. I do believe that if I'm doing this for me and no one but me, it's going to help me be more successful, see more results and want to truly do this the right way for the long haul.

And that's what I'm counting on.


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