Weight Loss – A Background Story

In 2010 I quit swimming, a sport which I had been overly active in (training up to 10 times a week) since the age of 8. In 2001/02 I put on a lot of weight due to a hormone issue. In 2003-05 I put on even more weight thanks to the depression I suffered during my years at Uni (and when I say “years at Uni” I mean the years I locked myself in my bedroom, slept from 5am to 2pm and ate nothing but cheese and onion crinkle cut chips).

In the space of 5 years, I doubled my weight.

The depression didn’t really go away until the end of 2007, and that’s when I decided I needed to take charge of my weight. Fast forward to today and I am the same weight, despite having tried every diet known to man, joined several gyms and having seen a therapist and a dietician.

You see, it’s easy for fitness nuts to say “get off the couch and go for a walk”, or for my dietician to say “replace your sugar craving with an apple”, but when you’re unmotivated, tired all the time and in a heavy routine of doing nothing, it’s not that easy. I will sit down and say to myself “get up, go for a walk” – but my body does not move.

I make excuses. I don’t like to walk around lakes because I know I’ll need to go to the bathroom, but I also don’t like gyms because I don’t like the environment. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like to sweat. I left my shoes at home. I’m tired. I’ll go tomorrow.

I’m an emotional/stress binge eater. I can eat well all day, but then I get home I’m not happy with my home life- so I’ll eat everything I can see.

I eat when I am bored, and as I have a form of ADD, I’m bored a lot.

I eat til I am full, and then some. I don’t like to waste food, so I’ll eat until I want to spew – even though I know I should stop.

I can tell you the nutritional benefits of almost any food, but I’ll still go for chocolate over a banana because chocolate makes me feel good, and who doesn’t like to feel good.

I used to say “right I’m going on a diet today”, and then that evening I would find myself driving through Macdonald’s drive-through…and I hate MacDonald’s.

All of this, it’s self-sabotage – my therapist says I do it to myself so I can stay fat so people won’t pay attention to me, and so I can stay alone forever and not end up like my parents.

The worst thing about it all is that I am conscious of the self-sabotage, I am conscious of what an idiot I am, I know what I am doing is wrong and that I should stop – I just can’t. I’m addicted to being fat.

In 2012, after the death of my best friend and the subsequent binge eating and depression that followed, I considered talking to my Doctor about a gastric-banding. However, fate intervened and I ended up talking to my Dad about it first. Dad told me about a lady he knew who was hypnotised to believe that she had a gastric bypass – so when they would go out to dinner, she would eat hardly anything believing that she was full. This intrigued me.

So, in 2012 I started hypnotherapy and, you know what, it was fantastic. I saw Penny Clarke at Your Hypnotherapy, some sessions at Vitality Health Clinic in Tuggeranong and some sessions at Penny’s office in Ainslie.

The sessions usually consisted of a chat, and then the hypnotherapy to end with. Penny would ask me questions about my habits, why I ate what I ate and when I ate it. She’d ask about my life, my family, my work and my routine.

I think the best thing for me was that Penny was extremely kind and inspiring – I’d had a psychologist a few years back who was mean and I never wanted to open up to her. With Penny, we would always run over time because I would just have verbal vomit and everything would come spewing out.

The hypnotherapy itself was rather a surprise, as I was sure it wouldn’t work on me. Penny would have me sit in a big black chair (probably the most comfortable chair ever!) and close my eyes. I would then visualise myself in my “happy place”, which could be anywhere – my happy place was a giant library. After some exercises to clear my mind, she had me walk slowly down a stair case and with each step I would fall deeper and deeper under. By the last step I could feel myself slipping, even though my eyes were closed everything goes white – it’s like fainting, but being aware that you’re fainting.

I don’t remember a lot of what happened after that, because hypnotherapy is about targeting your subconscious mind, not the conscious one. I do have some memory of Penny asking me to visualise “another version of myself” a happy, confident person who doesn’t rely on food to solve all issues.

I always felt happy and optimistic after I would come out of a session, and that would last up to a week. I would eat well and I could concentrate on my work (not an easy task for my ADD brain). I would walk past the chocolates at work and not even be a little bit tempted by them. For a week.

My therapist said I should have a session once a week and I should only need about 7 or 8 sessions in total. However, as the session are $120 a pop, I couldn’t afford to go more than once a fortnight and sometimes it would have to be even longer between visits – which essentially meant I was starting from scratch every time, so I never quite achieved the results I was looking for.

And then in September 2012 another of my best friends died, she committed suicide. I was angry and upset, so the binge eating started all over again – and I couldn’t stop.

I promised myself at New Year’s 12/13 I would start to lose weight and get fit again – I was going to South America in October, so I wanted to be fit to walk around and enjoy myself. That didn’t happen, the old habits and routines were back to stay.

I lost 10kgs during the two months I was in South America, just by walking and not snacking – I was too busy to wallow and binge eat. I felt amazing when I got home. It was the motivation I needed…but then I fell back in to the old habits again and I put on more than half of what I had lost by the end of the year.

And so for yet another New Years, my resolution was to lose weight. 20 days in to the New Year and, while I have made some improvements, it’s the same old story.

Tomorrow I start hypnotherapy again and so my journey starts over one more time. I’m going to try to stay accountable by way of this blog – and I’ll post about my hypnotherapy experiences as I go along.

(Edit – 11th April 2014 – I gave up hypnotherapy on the day I spoke to my Doctor about stomach surgery. It was costing me too much money and I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I did find out some interesting stuff about myself in the process, but it didn’t break my habits.)

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7 thoughts on “Weight Loss – A Background Story

  1. Good luck, Erin…battling with your weight (and your head) is hard, no matter what your size. I suffered from an eating disorder for years at uni, and did the whole yo-yo dieting thing for years, before I finally made a lifestyle change that saw me lose quite a bit of weight and find my exercise ‘passion’ (Zumba – you should come along! First class is free! There are loads of curvy girls who go…)

    Many people think it is just a matter of eating right and exercising and, yes, of course that’s true. But changing the way you think is the most important thing – and the hardest. You’ll get there!

    Much love

    Amanda x

    1. Thanks Amanda. I have heard good things about Zumba and I reckon it’s right up my alley – however I want to wait until I am a little bit fitter before I give it a go. 🙂

  2. Best of luck Erin – and thanks so much for opening up about this. It’s a really honest and genuine read. While I’m sure this doesn’t make much difference, there are many bathrooms around Lake Ginninderra (I can think of at least three at different points, and I think there are four). I look forward to hearing about your hypnotherapy sessions and how they go – I agree with Amanda: changing the way you think isi the most important thing and hardest. I find it very easy to push ‘eating well’ out of my mind.

    1. Thanks Tara!

      Yeah, doesn’t help that I love food so much! Maybe I need to burn off my tastebuds or something… 😛

      Thanks for the top about LG bathrooms too.

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