Therapy and Weight Loss October 26, 2009Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Therapy.
Tags: Least Restrictive Treatment, mental illness, Therapy, Weight Gain
I never would have voluntarily entered counseling in a million years.
However, my release from the mental hospital was conditioned by a contract I had to sign before the hospital would release me. The Least Restrictive Treatment (LRT) contract between the State of Washington and me required me to attend weekly therapy sessions with a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Michelle, my caseworker at Fairfax, selected my therapist, Beth, and made arrangements for my first therapy visit to occur three hours after my release from the hospital.
Walking through the door of my new counseling office, I was very wary of the arrangement. Still psychotic, I didn’t believe that I belonged in therapy. Therapy was for screwed up people, and I clearly wasn’t one of those. I was perfectly well. But rather than return to Fairfax, I resigned myself to going through the motions of therapy.
It turns out that my therapy has had and continues to have surprising benefits. Who knew that my lifelong battle with my weight and food started at a very early age, and is the root of my personal battle of the bulge?
My battle with food is getting more interesting the more therapy I have. The therapy allows me to put my food battle in perspective, something that has eluded me for the past 50 years of my life. It never dawned on me before I started counseling that I could put a pattern to my personal battle of the bulge.
Talking with my therapist continues to be valuable. With the increasing trust in my therapist comes knowledge. The little girl in me is starting to understand that everyone has food calorie limits that aren’t dictated by others. Regardless of whether I felt starved as a little girl, there were always caloric ceilings to adhere to or I gained weight. The laws of physics apply to everyone, including the little girl in me. As adults, we’re free to live on our own, with rules and regulations acquired independently. But certain things never go away. No matter what the circumstances, there is a limit to the number of calories we can ingest each day before gaining weight. In my case, 1950 calories a day is what my body needs in order to perform at the optimum level. Any less and I lose weight, and any more and I gain weight.
Recently my therapist has been guiding me through some exceptionally difficult therapy. With that difficult therapy has come an ever-expanding girth. In the three months of exploration of certain things in my life, my stomach has expanded about 3 inches because of the enormous number of calories I have been taking in. One of my ‘go-to” comfort foods is dark chocolate. During my intense therapy sessions, I have been allowing the little girl in me to eat as much and whatever she wanted, understanding that it was part of the therapy process. Chocolate chips are my comfort food, and I need to have unlimited access to them in order to get better. I understood on an intellectual level that my body had daily calorie limits. But the little girl inside me has been fighting those caloric limits as if they were imposed by people rather than the laws of physics.
I’m finally reaching a landmark in my therapy, where I am beginning to internalize the fact that caloric limitations area caused by the laws of physics. They aren’t administered by others. With concept comes a new approach to food. I’m not saying I’m skinny or even that I’ve started to lose weight. I’m simply coming to terms with the laws of physics. That, after 50 years, is a major accomplishment.