Monday, October 27, 2008

Searching for a Direct Route

I met today with PhD again today (I don't have a set weekly appt yet--just trying to hit as many 5 PM appts as possible.)

She is really different than any other therapist I've worked with. Like today, I came in and she said, "I have 2 questions for you as a theme to our session." I've always directed sessions with therapists before--talked about what was on my mind, what I wanted the theme of the session to be. At first I was a bit taken aback. But I just went with it.

After I got home, talking about it with Hubby, I realized the difference. This isn't my typical counseling--it's not a focus about me and the events in my life--and thankfully, that's not really what I need right now. Instead, I'm getting what I signed up for--weight counseling. She's provoking my thoughts based on her expertise and experience. It sounds really basic, but it's taken (obviously) a few weeks for me to figure this out--and to appreciate it.

So today's 2 questions were:
  1. What would it take for me to get really directed and focused on losing weight? For instance, are there things I'm doing right now that are distracting me that could be delayed? Am I doing something to stand in my own way?
  2. What am I doing to really push myself?

My interpretation of #1 is what can I do to make my weight loss journey more directed--less full of detours and roadblocks and stalls?

And that right there is kind of a flash for me. When I lost weight before, my goal was to lose a significant amount and keep it off for a sustained period to prove to myself that I could maintain weight loss. (Because there is no worse feeling than to lose 15 or 20 pounds only to immediately start regaining--usually gaining more.) So I did that. I lost 60 pounds and maintained it for 6 years.

Now, the truth is that I don't believe I can get down to a "normal" healthy weight in the recommended BMI. It's never been part of my experience. So to be directed about it feels really scary and likely lots of effort without the intended reward. So my belief in myself is definitely an obstacle. I do know, though, that belief often follows actions, not vice versa.

And as far as #2 goes, PhD suggested I set some rules up for myself to make it easier initially. For instance, she suggested I set rules about what restaurants we eat at for right now and what kinds of things I order. I've done that kind of thing before. But the difference I want to make now is to set the "rules," not so much as dos and don'ts but as identity statements.

When PhD talked, she talked about what her old self did--eat everything on the buffet--to what her new self does---pick 4 or 5 items. Her new self stops eating when she feels satisfied and is mentally satisfied and comfortable visiting with her friends even if they continue to eat.

My plan is not to write "rules," but to write identity statements. Then I can say them to myself as necessary until they become part of me.

Here are a few starters:

  • I am a walker. I take the long way around to get somewhere. Like on my coffee breaks, I go right so I can do a quick "lap" around the circular stairwell, then back to the left so I can catch a breath of fresh air outside.
  • When I eat lunch out, I prefer salads or veggie options.

More to come. . .


I bought little halloween ceremic planters, filled with little candy sticks (sticks with little chocolates on them), for my team at work. Of course, I bought one for myself too. My justification was that tomorrow there's a party at work for the kids. But this morning as I was putting the bag in my car, I thought, I can't have this on my desk--those little candy bars will be too tempting. . .first just one. . .

So on my drive in, I kept thinking, who can I give the last one to. . .?

I had someone in mind, but saw another woman first. When I gave it to her, she said she was "overwhelmed."

And! I'm really proud of myself that I didn't tell her the whole story.


  1. How nice of you to touch someone else with the candy. :) I wish you the best in your goal.

  2. I really like what Ph.D. said about #2 and selecting a few items and feel satisfied with my choices and the company of others. Hmmm...sounds simple yet it never dawned on me when I stood before a buffet of goodness. Thanks for sharing so much. I enjoy your blog.

  3. I'm glad you like to pick veggie or salad options. If I do eat out, it's usually fast food, and of course, I can't eat a salad while I'm driving...SO I eat a hamburger or fries or something a lot worse for me than vegetables! Also, since I don't eat out at a sit-down restaurant often, I tend to treat myself, or "pig out" you might say, and have cheesy pasta or one too many breadsticks or rolls. You are an inspiration, that's for sure!


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