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Week 1

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I had my first therapy appointment last night, and it went well. She didn't say any of the things I had worried about (telling me to stop watching what I eat or to stop exercising, telling me to just accept myself and be happy at any size, telling me I just lacked willpower, etc.) She wasn't touchy feely at all, and really, she just listened to me give my backstory for most of the session. Even though I had given that a lot of thought in advance, I got a little flustered trying to make sense of it all to a stranger. On the way home, I kept thinking of things I'd forgotten to mention that suddenly seemed incredibly relevant.

Basically, the mission as she sees it is to "normalize" my eating habits. That is to say, eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full, and not think about food constantly in between. That sounds simple and good to me!

My task for this week is to keep a food journal (no measurement/calories, just basic items, i.e. "snack: grapes, low-fat string cheese, water"), but to make sure it includes absolutely every single thing I eat. (I had told her that I've tracked almost every day for 3 years now, but that lately I had been omitting some or all of my binge foods from the record.) She also wanted me to make note of WHEN I was eating (which I don't usually do) and to also jot down any food-related emotions, thoughts, etc.

Well it's been less than 24 hours and this journal is already a few pages long. Never ask a very verbal, food-obsessed person to keep a journal about food unless you want a novel!!

Though I am tempted to be "perfect", I've been trying to "act normal" (which is to say, not changing my habits because I know she'll read the journal). There's no point in trying to have a "perfect week", because that won't help me in the long run. Unfortunately, I'm spending the weekend out of town, so this week's journal won't really reflect a typical week... I usually cook almost all of my own meals, so obviously there's going to be a lot more takeout involved. All of my meal times will be slightly off as well. I doubt this will be the last week of journaling, though, and I also have a hunch she'll be more interested in the thoughts/feelings between the meals than in the meals themselves.

One thing that she did say that has stuck with me... She sort of implied (or at least, I inferred from one of her questions) that at some point, I learned or decided that my instincts are bad and shouldn't be trusted. Maybe that explains why after many years of that kind of thinking, I don't listen to my body when it says it's hungry, or when it says it's full?

My husband made a good point about that, though, which is another thing that has stuck with me today.... As he said, but if eating whatever I want made me fat, is it really a good goal to eat whatever I want? To be clear, I genuinely enjoy healthy food... but if I ordered a pizza or bought a cupcake every time I wanted one, I'd be eating those things several times per week. That's not good either. I'd definitely like to talk with her about that next week... When, if ever, does trying to live a healthy lifestyle become a detriment, and when is it good?

In terms of unhealthy food, she made a good analogy with the way most people interact with alcohol. If you're presented with an opportunity to enjoy it, you may make a decision to have some. You stop when it stops feeling good and you don't want more. Or maybe you decide to go a little crazy and knowingly have more than you know is good for you. Either way, when it's over, you don't obsess about the decision and you just kind of move on until the opportunity comes up again. That's the goal with "treat" food as well... You're not going to have it every day, or obsess about having it, but if you decide you want some, you make a choice to enjoy an amount that feels good. Afterward, it's done and you go back to normal without guilt, shame, or anxiety.

Soooo that's about that. I'm looking forward to next week's session! In the meantime, have a great weekend, all!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have had trouble with binging and emotional eating for as long ask could remember, ive always wanted to try therapy, but fr the first time ever I feel most in control of it. What did it take? Watching Clean Eating documentaries and reading up on it as well. While I knew what I was eating was bad for me, watching it and imagining myself with the glowing skin & body confidence of clean water made me actually want it more than ever. I imagine what everything is doing inside my body now. Hopefully the therapy will be it for you!
    1582 days ago
    Great post and interesting advice, cant wait to hear how next week goes
    1583 days ago
    Great advice! Can't wait to hear about next week's appointment!
    1583 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! Definitely some great insight! You might want to check out Geneen Roth's books, she talks about balancing your weight while eating the foods you want to eat (very similar to what your therapist said about listening to your body).
    1583 days ago
    That was great advice from the therapist. Thanks for sharing! I need to remember that too. emoticon
    1583 days ago
    I find this fascinating....thank you so much for sharing....I am a binger too and need more insight on how to change and "normalize" are one brave lady!
    1584 days ago
    It's really great of you to share everything about your session so that we can all learn from the experience. I am eager to hear how things progress for you and what you discover, experience, etc.
    I know you said that because you are going away, your journal won't reflect a normal week. But I think it's great that your week includes travel and unusual eating experiences. I think they are and should be part of life. And I know for myself that I often have had a lot of anxiety around travelling and/or eating out because I'm not in control of meals and times the way I normally am.
    So keeping her suggestions in mind about having treats or special meals and then moving on sounds like a great thing to put into practice during this weekend.
    Just a thought.
    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing and enjoy your trip!
    1584 days ago
  • AWOLF24
    Very interesting...I am a binge eater myself. Good luck - I hope you find she is helpful for you!
    1584 days ago
  • ZIGGY122
    1584 days ago
    Hope this is successful for you. Sounds like your therapist has a plan - and you've already figured it out! Keep posting!
    1584 days ago
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