This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series 100 lb Weight Loss Series

If you have considered attending therapy for weight loss, I have helpful thoughts to share. Therapy has been a huge part of my 100-pound weight loss journey. In fact, I believe it was the only reason I had success as I did. Below, you’ll find information about my own journey and the encouragement to begin this journey for yourself.What it's Like to Attend Therapy for Weight Loss

What It’s Like to Attend Therapy for Weight Loss

The first time I attended therapy for weight loss, I was out of breath, nervous, and sweating. I had come to my first therapy session to deal with my eating problems of compulsive overeating and binging.

The therapist’s office was on the second floor, and there was no elevator. He had warned me about this on the phone. “No problem,” I had said at the time. Standing at the top of the steps panting, I was rethinking my quick answer.

I took a few more minutes to calm my breathing and nerves, then walked into the office. Let’s get this show on the road.

What the First Therapy for Weight Loss Session Was Like

The therapist was friendly enough. A little bookish, kind, but straight forward. We spent half the time going over paperwork, discussing my medical and previous therapy history. There was a bit of time left to delve into some therapy discussion. Right away I noticed his questions were different from those of other therapists I had been with before.

Quite frankly, he wasn’t as nice. While extremely encouraging, he wasn’t afraid to dig deeper.

He asked me questions like, “Tell me what it looks like when you binge eat. What do you eat? How many calories do you think you eat? How often does it happen? What is going on before it happens?”

No one had directly asked me these types of questions before, and I had never, ever talked to anyone about them out loud before in this type of depth — not to my best friends, not to my husband, not to my other therapists, not to anyone.

I was deeply and horribly ashamed to answer these questions. Although his eyes were kind and his questions were gentle but firm, I felt like I was being pinned to the couch naked and exposed. I tend to be an honest and straightforward person, but that is one time I can remember being vague and avoiding answering his questions as much as I could get away with it.

As if that wasn’t enough, we dug deeper still. We talked about a couple relationships in my life and he pointed out incongruity he saw with my behavior. We would discuss those relationships in future sessions. Yikes.

I absolutely hated this therapy. And yet, I felt hopeful. Like pulling out a painful splinter, I knew it was going to hurt but something about it felt right.

Long Term Therapy for Weight Loss

Monday mornings at 9:00 AM became my time for therapy. It was my therapist’s first session of the week so we joked about both of us starting the week off right.  When I first started, I had no idea this would last for several years.

  • Some sessions we talked about my eating specifically. Some sessions we didn’t talk about food at all.
  • Some sessions were pleasant and chatty. Some sessions were horribly painful and delved into areas where I longed to not tread.
  • Sometimes we talked about my childhood. Sometimes we talked about my life today.
  • Sometimes we both laughed. Sometimes I cried through most of the session while he handed me a kleenex.

When Therapy for Weight Loss Feels Like It Isn’t Working

One session I left so furiously angry, I probably wasn’t safe to drive home although I did.  By the time I got to my neighborhood ,I was pounding on the steering wheel yelling at God, “Why, Why, WHY do I have these eating problems?! It’s so unfair! Other people don’t have these issues. Why do I have to?”

I was furious with myself, mad at God, and angry at every other person in the world who seemed to be able to eat anything they wanted. I was mad that the process was taking way too long and didn’t seem to be working.  I was still overweight and still overeating, plus I was drudging up all this emotional crap I had to deal with in therapy. I seemed to be getting worse, not better.

Not only was I an overweight, overeating, over-committed mom, but now I was an overweight, overeating, over-committed mom who fluctuated between moods of crying and raging to wanting isolation.

I was ready to trash this whole stupid therapy idea. Who thought this was a good idea?  Yet, I felt compelled to continue. Even though by every outward appearance (even to my own self) it seemed I was making no progress or even regressing, I had a seed of hope inside of me.

I had to continue therapy.

When Weight Loss Therapy Equals No Weight Loss

I did not attempt to lose weight when I first started therapy. I did therapy. I did not diet. I did not exercise. I was still binge eating on a regular basis. I read books at the library about eating disorders and I went to therapy.

That’s all I could do, and that’s what I did.

Sometimes, that is all you can do for a time. If you are in the midst of weight loss therapy and struggling to lose, be sure to read in my journey about the motivational words that helped me lose weight.

Wake Up for Weight Loss

“You know, when we are done with this therapy one of the biggest changes is that eating isn’t going to be fun anymore. You might not like me very much.”

When my therapist told me this in one of our first sessions, I brushed it off.  Whatever, just fix me, okay? That was my thought. At that point, I would do anything to get to thin. I had no idea the long and twisting road that was ahead of me.

What my therapist was explaining to me was that I needed to become conscious.

I often used food to numb my feelings. I would go into the zone. I used it as a way to escape my problems or feelings I was unequipped to handle. I had to learn to wake up to my behavior around food, and at first, I didn’t want to do it. Parts of me rebelled bitterly.

As much as I wanted to be thin and free from my eating issues, these behaviors were, in some broken ways, working for me. They were numbing the pain. Becoming aware meant dealing with whatever painful feelings I had without the Novocaine of overeating.

What I began to discover though, is that we don’t get to pick and choose which feelings we numb. I could numb the painful feeling but I was numbing much of the good too. As I started to wake up, it’s true the hurt came rushing in full force.

Thankfully that is what therapy was there for – I had to learn how to deal with the pain. I discovered I’m a whole heck of a lot stronger than I thought. God gave me the strength to handle what I thought I could not.

Life is Delicious

I learned life is so much more crisp and beautiful than I realized. Oh, it’s so amazingly gorgeous.  It’s more than just the food on your plate, but everything about life can be changed when you go through therapy for weight loss. You begin to see things clearly. Not just how to fuel your body, but the benefits of doing so.

  • Life is so much bigger and better than what’s at the bottom of an empty ice cream carton.
  • Life is my kids laughing at the end of a hiking trail.
  • Life is the fantastic mountain view swishing past at 30 miles per hour on my bicycle.
  • Life is the look of amazement in my husband’s eyes when I wear a new outfit.
  • Life is the feeling of confidence I have standing up to talk in front of a group of people.
  • Life is sitting down to a meal and actually tasting the flavors of the food.
  • Life is a race medal hung around my neck after many sweaty hours and miles.
  • Life is someone coming up to me at church and telling me, “You inspire me.”
  • Life is…delicious!Life is Delicious!

What have you woken up to realize in your life? How has God given you strength to handle something you thought was too difficult to handle? If you have considered therapy for weight loss, let me encourage you that it can change your life.

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What it's Like to Attend Therapy for Weight Loss

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