Like many people, I've gained and lost the same ten pounds over and over and over. By now, that ten could probably equal a ton! When I stop to think about WHY that same ten, I don't have an answer. I only know the cycle. First, I hit that ten... and something stops me from going any further. I hear friends say I look "fine" and I think maybe this is good enough. After that, there's the usual throwing of hands up in the air, followed shortly thereafter by eating too much. The final step to my yo-yo trip is giving up on my workouts because "I'm just too busy." Any of this sound familiar?
I've had to really think about why it is I do this. Let me tell you, it's really hard to unlock those answers. I want to say that it's a control issue, which is the text book answer, but I know that it's not. I just didn't know what it really was. So when my friend, Dr. Lorretta offered to have me try her hypnotherapy series on weight loss to get down to the heart of the matter, I thought, what the heck? I knew hypnotherapy worked because Dr. Lorretta had helped me release some heavy thoughts before.
A couple of years ago, I was dealing with anger towards my first husband. I knew that I couldn't have a sane and happy future if I couldn't let go of the anger from the past, but saying it, even knowing it doesn't do you much good if you can't let go of the actual feelings. Those feelings had been in my head and heart for so damn long that I didn't even know where they were coming from at times. So one day, I sat on a comfy chair and let Dr. Lorretta walk me through some guided meditation.
Okay, so I know what you're thinking. She pulled a pocket watch out of her cape while I was on stage and in a few minutes I was clucking like a chicken. Ummmm, no. What she did was talk me through some deep breathing and gave me some visuals while I was awake with my eyes closed (guided imagery). She asked me to imagine a filing cabinet. In the top drawer were some files. She asked me to imagine pulling out a file. When I did that, I saw the word "Mom" on the tab. Yeah... you knew THAT was gonna happen. The file, however, wasn't very thick. She told me to imagine throwing it into a fire and watching the file be consumed. Gladly, I thought. Then we went on to another file. This one was thick with tattered, yellow, messy papers sticking out. I was actually pretty surprised about the file and described it to Dr. Lorretta. She asked me what the name on the file was. I cried when I realized that it was the name of my first husband.
Let me explain. I didn't cry because I missed him. I didn't cry because I still had feelings of love for him. I cried because after ALL. THIS. TIME... I was still dealing with him. He was not what you would call a very nice man. He loves the kids we share, but he was nothing but mean and nasty to me. Sometimes, when I would see him, I would start shaking uncontrollably. My stomach turned just thinking about how to guard myself whenever we had to see each other. To protect myself, I would get very defensive and became a person I didn't really like. We never had civil conversations. Ever. It was always tense and argumentative.
So Dr. Lorretta told me to do the same thing I had done with the "Mom" file. I imagined walking over to the ring of fire and began to toss the file and all the tattered papers into the fire. I couldn't wait to see them consumed by the golden flames. I just wanted it to burn up and leave. But instead of catching on fire, the papers (stay with me) turned into white birds and flew away. I was startled. Tears began streaming down my cheeks, but I kept my eyes closed. I wanted to keep watching the birds fly off. How could something so ugly turn into something so beautiful? Dr. Lorretta offered the conclusion that I could now turn all of the pain and hurt and anger into something better. Since then, I've had the opportunity to help women who have dealt with or were still with abusive husbands. Now when I see my first husband, I don't have any feelings for him. Nothing good, but nothing bad either. The fear and anger are gone. He's just this person I knew once, a long time ago.
Now, I'm using those same techniques to loosen my grip on my ideas about MY weight. Not about exercise or calories or BMI or carbs. I could probably write a weight loss book with all the information in my head. Still, I need to let go of the thinking I have about how much I should weigh. It's not so easy! All my life, I've been told certain things about my physique that have stuck in my head. My mom had some "cute" little words for me when I was a little girl that ended up hurting me throughout my life. When I was two, my mom had twins. They were not healthy, so compared to them, I was a big girl, not to mention that I was two years older than them. Comparing me to them was never fair, but she did it all the time. She used to call me Baby Huey and "Gorda", which translates to fat. I'll show you my pictures. I was NOT fat. But I thought I was because my mom said I was.
On the other side, as an adult, friends tell me I don't need to lose weight and that I look great the way I am. When I hear that, I think, yeah... I can stop at ten pounds. I look fine. And that's when the cycle that I mentioned starts over again. I'll look in the mirror and think, that's enough. I don't need to keep going. But I could.
((Side note: do not do this to your friends!! You are stealing their dreams!! Encourage them rather than give your own personal opinions.))
For the last two weeks, I've been listening to Losing Weight From the Inside Out and I have been able to uncover some old thoughts about my weight. I've also been able to deflect the kind but dream-stealing comments that I've received from well-meaning friends. I've been getting up earlier to go for my walks. I haven't been craving any comfort foods. I've even started rethinking long term weigh loss versus losing ten pounds overnight. I'm excited about hitting my weight goal, but I think I'm even more excited about the journey of discovery that I'm on.
I can't wait to let go of all those yucky thoughts that have weighed me down all these years!!
Curious about hypnotherapy and weight loss? You can catch Dr. Lorretta live on MomTV on the Mamavation show every Monday night. Ummm... that's tonight! Go check it out!!