Friday, August 24, 2012
We've all experienced it. A friend that we've "outgrown" and somehow we slowly (or not so slowly) drift apart. So many foods have been my old friends for so long. I celebrated with them, I mourned with them, I sat around bored with them, and they were there when I was anxiety ridden and nervous. They comforted me, and (bonus) made me invisible.
Since March, I've been working on changing my thinking about food--what it is for, what it is NOT for and how I relate to hunger, appetite, and emotional eating. On March 6, I started a medical weight loss program, one with a meal replacement--a shake that I drank four times a day. Only the first 2 days were really tough. After that it was easy...except I reacted to them. I had diarheaa for six weeks! My gastroenterologist gave me super strong diarheaa meds, but to no avail. Eventually, I had to stop the shakes. What those weeks without food did for me, though, was break the cycle I was in with food.
The first thing I put in my mouth was a piece of melon. It was amazing! The flavor burst onto my tastebuds like a splendid sunrise. Then spring greens: who needs dressing! My tastebuds were reset. I liked real food and lost interest in foods that did not sustain me.
Now, I am on a new program, one that incorporates all three very important components for weight loss: medical monitoring, nutrition counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It feels like I am on a medicine that takes away pain. Because dealing with the emotional aspect of obesity is seldom done. It is almost NEVER done with a professional (most diets). My obesity specialist has done obesity research at NIH, and she knows so many aspects of dealing with patients who are obese. This is not your average doc! My nutritionist has worked with patients customizing a program that suits their individual needs, what a difference! The therapy--skills classes and emotional strengthening classes--are phenomenal! Not only am I getting a handle on how to eat, emotional eating, and following the ideal path for me. The group sessions have enabled me to move forward and face difficulties in other areas of my life. I am learning to manage my medical condition.
It feels good to say goodbye to these old friends, these old ways of eating and these old attitudes and beliefs that have held me back from being the person I wanted to be...the person who was invisible to those around me.