In September of 2011 I accepted a Business Analyst position at a well known company in Des Moines, Iowa where I live. One of the things that I really like about this company is that they have a superb wellness facility and their focus on wellness makes them an employer of choice for me.
I was cruising around their wellness site and I came across a video of a speaker who had come to lecture about the topic of weight loss. His name is Randy, and he is a therapist where his specialty is counseling people with issues around obesity. I watched that video presentation 3 times. The things I took away from it:
- If we are stunted in a stage of life such as as childhood by emotional things that have happened to us, it can be extremely hard to move onto the next stage in life. We are mentally “stuck” in certain stages.
- If we put people or things in our life on hold (going swimming, having relationships, being with people) because our self image of what we look like takes precedent over this, we are stuck in adolescent thinking. I mean really, as teenagers we are thinking primarily about ourselves right? So this makes sense to me.
- You can also have adolescent thinking around food. “I know I shouldn’t have it but I’m going to have it anyway” or “I’m in a bad mood….happy…lonely…celebrating….and I shouldn’t have it but I’m going to do it anyway”. That is all thinking like an adolescent.
- I needed to get ahold of this guy!!!
I Googled him and gave him a call. As luck would have it he had one more open spot to take on someone and I started therapy with him. I didn’t know it then, but it was the turning point in my life.
The first couple of months was us getting to know each other and talking so we could work together to understand the reasons behind why I binge. Why do I start a diet and can’t follow through? Why do I start out great, lose 10 pounds and then binge eat it back? Why do I start an exercise program only to fall off of it a few days later? I know more about nutrition and exercise than many fit people I know, so knowledge isn’t the issue. I do these things and feel like a bigger failure than before. Other people can lose weight but I don’t have the willpower to do it. What is wrong with me??
Here’s the answer:
Because I wanted to stay fat.
Doing therapy well is some of the hardest work you will ever do. I had to recognize and accept certain truths.
- My mother never wanted me. She has great relationships with my other siblings but she would tell me as a child she never wanted me and I was a mistake. When you are rejected by a parent, you can be messed up in ways you may never realize.
- My father was never around to protect me from her. He worked late or had other things he was doing.
- I have been subconsciously trying to “fix” my relationship with my mother through other people in my life. This is what the subconscious does. It takes the patterns established in your brain and where there are situations that cause you suffering, it attempts to mend. (That is my super oversimplification of an extremely difficult topic)
- When I have met a man in my life I become co-dependent because I subconsciously “know” they will reject me because, hey, my parents did so let me just help you out by becoming clinging and ruining the relationship before you can! If you are a man that accepts me at the weight I am then I reject YOU because my subconscious rejects it. My thinking is twisted and my therapy is helping me to untwist this.
These are the core reasons I have stayed fat. But I am finding through therapy that it doesn’t have to stay this way. I have made great strides. Randy has exercises and things that he has done that have gotten me to a point where I do not binge any more and I have actually started exercising on a regular basis. I am trying very hard to get away from weighing myself everyday. That is part of the disease and I still do that.
I didn’t realize it until the last couple of weeks but my time with Randy has prepared me for things that are about to start for me that will change me physically forever.