Proof that Therapy Might Be Working.

August 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 10 Comments

I’ve been seeing my therapist now for a year and a half.

A LOT of money spent.

All out of pocket.

I kind of don’t even want to do the math of how much it’s been. Because it’s really hard to justify, sometimes. Because emotional healing can’t really be directly attributed to the investment I’m putting in. So, really, I’ve kind of put on the blinders on when it comes to looking at the money I’ve spent on it.

But I have to say.

I think it’s working.

I spend most of my time with my therapist right now talking about infertility, of course. But often, we touch on stuff that I have always thought as being tangential to the whole IF thing.

Body image is one of them. I mean, it makes sense that I hate my body since I have a hard time getting pregnant.

Except that I’ve seen Fat Serenity in the mirror for many, many years.

And even now, when I’m at a healthy weight, I see fat whenever I look in the mirror.

And I’m very good at punishing myself for it. I am good at portion control, upping my exercise, counting calories. I’m very good at telling myself I don’t deserve that bowl of ice cream because I didn’t run that day.

My little OCD streak comes out, and whenever I make a choice to indulge, I spend way too much energy feeling badly about it.

A while back, my therapist expressed support when I told her I should just get rid of my scale. Because I weigh myself every couple of days. I get worried about a swing of 2-3lbs. And being up 5lbs for an extended amount of time makes me exceedingly anxious.

Right now? I weight 5lbs heavier than my self-imposed “allowable maximum weight.”

It just never really came off after my cycle in July. It’s frustrating as hell, actually. Because it will NOT come off with the slight modifications I’ve made. I’ve swapped out my morning large wrap for a smaller wrap. I’ve tried to snack on fruit and vegetables whenever I am hungry. I’ve upped my protein. I make healthy choices.

And always before now, if I was up 5lbs for this long, I’d rejoin Weight Watchers. Or count calories. Or change up my dinners and eat salads every night. Or skip a meal here and there until my weight came back down into the “okay” range.

But I’ve been resistant, this time. Unwilling to really work hard at getting rid of it.

Because all I keep thinking is that, hell, it’s just a NUMBER.

I am finally back up to running 25 miles a week. I eat when I’m hungry. I have also really worked on being mindful of understanding when I have the urge to snack: am I hungry, or am I just looking for something to DO? I enjoy a glass of wine, or a beer, here and there.

Eating, to me, is an experience I want to enjoy. And right now, I’m unwilling to stop enjoying it so that I can reach some number which, if I’m being honest, makes me no happier than I am today.

I lose 5lbs, and I want another.

When does it stop?

The answer: it doesn’t stop.

So I’ve done nothing. I’ve been sitting with this feeling of wanting to be thinner but unwilling to do anything about it. I’ve talked with my therapist about how I think it’s the right thing to do; just wait this out. Because really, I’m starting to see that my body image issues flare up when I’m cycling. (Something to do with insecurity and fear, I’m sure.)

And this morning, on my run, it struck me.

My resistance to doing something about my weight is actually… progress.

And even better, I love what my body can DO. I can run half marathons, 10ks, 5ks, 5 mile races. Carry my 4 year old up the stairs, upside down, tickling him. Hike 8 miles of our favorite trail with my husband this coming weekend for our 8 year anniversary (cool, huh?). Swim for an hour. Ride a bike. Play tag.

It doesn’t make the OCD voice in my head go away. I got home from my run, and just before my shower, I looked down at my belly and tried to suck in my gut. And failed. I still see Fat Serenity when I look in the mirror.

But look at what I can DO with this body.

All of a sudden? The money I’ve spent on therapy doesn’t seem so bad.

*This picture was taken at the beginning of a local relay race last Wednesday night. I ran the third leg, and I was so FREAKING ANXIOUS to run that when I was able to go, I was fast, and happy, and so relieved. And this picture cracks me up, because I look all graceful, and happy, and zen. 🙂

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10 Comments »

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  1. TOTALLY zenned out! And super-cute! And so strong!
    I’ve been reading your blog a long time and I have to concur, it really sounds like you’ve been making great strides with your therapy.
    (see what I did there? 😉 Strides…)
    Go you!

  2. You’re blissful and walking on air.
    I think most women see the ‘fat insertyournamehere’ when they look in the mirror. All these celebs get airbrushed but we don’t get that honor and it’s hard to reconcile things.
    I threw away our scale. Now I go strictly by how my clothes feel. I know what short/jeans etc need to fit me and when I put them on and can’t wait to unbutton them I know it’s time to back off the food train.
    FWIW…therapy is NEVER a waste of money 🙂

  3. I love this picture of you because you do look all zen. :> Throw the scale out. It is just a number. I rarly weigh myself and my weight goes up and down. I found that I would just feel bad about myself based on that one little number. As long as my clothes fit, I don’t worry about it. I’d rather eat food, enjoy life, and run to be fit than be anxious and try and control a number. Go hang out at pool and if you look around at the other moms, you will see that you have a great, in shape body that’s pretty normal. Most people have lumps, bumps, stretch marks, etc. I always think about my grandmother and how much I love and respecte her and it had nothing to do with how she loked or how much she weighed. You are the only one that really cares. But, bleh, cycling stinks…and the added 5 lbs isn’t fun.

  4. It’s so appropriate that you posted that pic, because I was just starting the post and read how you were 5 lb over your self-imposed allowable maximum weight, and I remembered seeing that picture on your facebook, and the first thing I’d thought when I’d seen it was, “Holy shit, Serenity looks amazing!” I was so envious of how fit and strong you looked.

    So I think it is wonderful that you are making some peace with your body. And you are absolutely right about the number- if I lose 5 lb I always want to lose 5 more.

    Not that I am happy with my weight right now (being 7 lb over my maximum allowable number), so I am the last person to be giving assvice.

    But anyway, I think you look awesome and I’m glad things are helping you think that too.

    xoxo
    T.

  5. I stopped weighing myself because it is just a number but it had the ability to ruin my day and make me obsess about food which didn’t feel healthy to me. I usually workout 4-6 times a week and if my clothes fit, then I’m happy. When I’m tempted to suck in my tummy, I remind myself that my belly was hard-earned and I’m lucky to have it because I’m lucky to be a mommy.

  6. Therapy is a wonderful investment. I have been seeing my therapist, intermittently, for (gulp) close to a decade. I guess that in itself might be a little crazy, but it really does help me live a better quality of life.

    What an inspiring photo that is! I have tremendous admiration for any mom (and even moreso one also dealign with more IF treatments trying for #2) who pursues fitness and nutrition goals with such seriousness. I still feel like the best I can do is just *not* gain any more weight now — then come back to “getting serious” once we’re done with our gazillionth IVF and baby-having.

    Over the years, I’ve gotten really into reading fat-acceptance/health at any size/plus-size fashion blogs and it’s really shifted my body-image thinking quite a bit. I am, technically, a fat person — but I think women of all sizes might enjoy a lot of these readings and find them inspiring too.

  7. I love this picture because you look happy, but also STRONG. Which … you absolutely are.

  8. So glad that your investment in yourself is paying off in noticeable ways.

    You look so zen in this pic!

  9. You are strong, inside and out. Never, ever forget that. 🙂 XOXO

  10. Yes, the not-caring is definitely a sign of success. Glad it’s paying off!

    Bea


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