This is the first in my new blog series on epiphanies-that moment the light bulb goes off and you have a striking realization that allows for a breakthrough with your weight loss goals.
This is Julie’s story:
When Ellen asked me to write this post, I spent a lot of time coming up with illustrations in my head. If the floor’s rotted out, you can’t just throw a carpet over it. If there’s a big wall in the middle of your living room messing up your feng shui, you can’t just
paint it black and pretend it’s not there. If you don’t have a garage, you can’t just park in the kitchen.
And then I started to realize the word I kept coming back to in every
one of these phrases was “can’t”.
I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child, for over thirty years now, and “can’t” has been my constant companion. I’ve managed to lose weight and then gain it back several times now. I know how to diet. Most of us know how to diet; we usually know what we need to do in order to lose weight. But keep it off?
Every time I embarked on a diet previously, I was doing a remodel. I was making surface changes. Eat this, not that. Drink eight glasses of water. Journal. Weigh-ins. Group Therapy. Boot Camp. These would usually work for a while. There would be a period of time when I would lose weight. I would begin to feel better. I had freshened up the look and feel of me. But eventually, I would get scared, or bored, or tired, or lose my motivation, and return right back to the state in which I began. It was too hard to keep hanging on to these changes, and I just couldn’t do it.
I hadn’t done the foundation work. I hadn’t found the right support
structure. I hadn’t gathered the skills and tools I would need to
The difference this time is that I actually found a program that helped me rebuild my entire relationship with food. Ellen worked with me on The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person.
I learned how to combat the negative thought loops in my head. It helped me adjust to normal feelings of fullness and hunger. It gave me useful tools to employ in any situation. It helped me discard the “can’t” that’s been following me around all these years. And it helped me rebuild myself into a person who isn’t on a diet anymore.
I’ve rebuilt a person who is a healthy eater and who exercises. And I never (I mean never — ever.) thought that would be something I would be able to say about myself. My epiphany was that the word “can’t” was holding me back. But look! Now I can.
What’s your epiphany?
Ellen is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Redwood City, California. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and incorporates the use of mindfulness into the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotional overeating. She runs a holistic weight loss program called Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss, www.thoughtfulweightloss.com. You can email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @thoughtfullellen.
Copyright © 2012 Ellen N. Resnick, LCSW