Writing this blog has really opened my eyes to the reality of weight loss. Through research and personal experience I have deduced that there is a holy trinity to weight loss; exercise, nutrition, and mental health. Exercise is important for keeping your heart healthy, nutrition is the real driving force for getting those pounds off as you are what you eat, but nothing is possible if your mental health isn’t the number one priority.
Through my weight loss journey I have discovered that what really helps me stay on the diet is taking care of my past traumas. I have described before what has effected my life and my weight, the way people treated me throughout the years whether negatively or positively directly influenced my weight loss ability. The first few months I started my weight loss journey I did alright, I could lose a couple of pounds here and there, but it was such a struggle. When I started therapy and actually began to process the crap that had built up in my mind the weight just started melting off.
When I was in a good place I could control my relationship with food and really reap the benefits of my weight loss. For several weeks I was in a good place with my mental health and it showed! I was loosing the weight and it all seemed so easy, then I had the opportunity to see a friend in Toronto so I spent a few days with him. Just like that famous song by Celine Dione, ‘It’s all coming back to me now.’ when I came home I was angry, and frustrated, and no longer in my good place. I felt like I was behind, that I wasn’t doing anything, and that I was unappreciated. Luckily because I had already worked on my coping strategies I didn’t just start stuffing my face again, instead I had another therapy session and oh boy was it an eye opener.
This one weekend away brought up so much un-dealt with heartache, I cried and cried and had to make so many realizations that it made me reevaluate my entire life and how I saw people around me. This past week I had another therapy session where we would start from the beginning, the very first time I felt the feelings I feel towards myself today, and wow, I had forgotten so much. I recalled the first time the word ‘fat’ was used in a shameful way. I remembered the first time I was mistreated by my peers for the way I looked. I remembered the first time I felt abandoned by my teachers and how I felt I couldn’t trust anybody.
I sat on the couch with my eyes closed, I held two little vibrating things in my hands. This process is called Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) to keep me grounded in the moment, and I allowed myself to think wherever my mind wanted to take me. It was like I was looking at my past from a third person perspective, I could see the moments of my life that I thought defined me, that hurt me and made me jaded and scared to talk to people for fear of being judged or rejected. I was able to remove the emotional connection I had with some of these memories.
The first time I felt shamed for my body was when I was a little girl. My ‘friend’ (honestly she was un unregulated child) drew a picture of our teacher, herself, and me. Herself and the teacher were stick figures and I was a stick figure except she had drawn a circle around my waist to represent my tummy. I felt hurt, then I felt abandoned because my teacher just stared at it awkwardly and didn’t say anything about how rude this was.
As I sat on the couch I thought about how I should have said something, how I could have told her off or made it funny or just commented on her appalling drawing skills. I eventually thought about how I would react now if the same situation was presented to me and I felt confident that I would say something because of how far I have come with rising to the occasion.
At the end of the session I didn’t cry, I wasn’t even emotional at all, it was like I had watched a small movie about my life, something unfortunate happened, I did my best at the time, and now I can move on.
Overall I feel confident in my ability to be funny, smart, and beautiful.
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On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.