Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good tidings of great joy!

Wonderful news! I approached the scale this morning with my usual trepidation, the same kind of anxiety you feel when you look in the rear-view mirror and see a cop. But, I took a deep breath, and stepped on. Wow! I've lost another five pounds, bringing the total to 15. Yippee!! It seems I didn't blow it yesterday with the classroom brownies, and I'm determined not to mess up now.

The hypnosis program says I should be losing between 1-3 pounds per week. I am currently in my 10th week, so I'm right on track. What a relief! I know that between all the exercise, the moderate eating, and the mental re-training, I can finally make this happen. So many times, one or more of those elements is weak, or missing. Usually, it's the mental part. Two years ago I trained for a triathlon. I spent seven months walking/running, biking, swimming, and working out at the gym - 5-6 days per week! I got in much better shape, but I only lost a few actual pounds. Why? I think I know why - fear.

I know what you must be wondering: why would anyone be afraid of losing weight? Isn't it a happy, thrilling experience? Well, yes.... mostly. For people like me, however (i.e. "lifers"), there's also a loss of "protection." Many of us wear a layer of fat like soldiers wear flak jackets. It also helps us keep people away - keeps us from pushing ourselves, thus risking failure; it provides boundaries that we have trouble creating in other ways. That's a big one for me. I've never been very assertive, though I am finally learning how to be more upfront about my feelings and needs. That is a major improvement!! And this point reminds me of a student I had in a class last Spring. She was telling us that she'd had gastric bypass surgery the year before, and had since lost about 110 pounds. The biggest difference it made for her, besides her size, was that she "became a bitch" (her words). Because she was not physically capable of stuffing down her feelings with food anymore, she found herself telling people exactly what she thought, and from the sound of things, she had a LOT to get off her chest. It was a huge adjustment for them all, no doubt.

Another element of fear involves gaining all the weight back (again!). I wish I had a dollar for every pound I've lost and re-gained over the years. My last major weight loss began in 2002, when my (then) husband and I went to Weight Watchers together. He lost 125 pounds, and I lost over 70. I felt great about it, though I still wasn't quite at my goal yet (ugh.... I shudder to think of it). I found myself panicking as I got closer to my goal - almost disbelieving I could get to the bottom. Well, for reasons I can spell out another time, I gained it all back, and then some. (No, I can't wag any fingers at Kirsty Alley.) So that's another fear. There's this voice that says "You'll never do it! You'll get to within 15 pounds of your goal, and it will all start creeping back. You don't know who you are if you aren't fat!!! " (Imagine a witchy, maniacal cackle... .)

But that won't happen this time. My hypnosis program is training me to single out that voice when I hear it, and just say "Stop." And... it's working!

So today my boyfriend came over and we did the hour-long G-Ball workout. It is a very challenging routine - sheesh! My poor sweetie admitted to being close to passing out and/or vomiting a few times. I sweated off a few gallons of fluid, but I felt ok, actually. Tomorrow I do the Body Ring again and walk the dog after dinner. If I can keep this up, I can make a real difference in the way I'll look and feel at the beach in next. Man .... I hope I hope I hope.

1 comment:

Corwin8or said...

Very insightful stuff. I know what a powerful inhibitor fear can be. People cling to their fears the way they cling to their extra pounds. Both can be very hard to shake off.