Time to Call in a Professional

We talk a lot on our blogs about how our body’s change and our changing habits and actions. We talk about the happiness we feel when our hard work pays off. But there’s not a ton of talk on health and fitness blogs about the emotional and psychological changes you go through as you lose weight — particularly a substantial amount of weight. It can be a crazy mind-altering experience. I really think that learning how to deal with that aspect of losing weight is just as hard — if not harder — than the actual weight-loss part. And I’m beginning to see that it’s going to be key in my continued success at losing the rest of this weight and keeping it off. I do not want to be one of the majority of people who regain their weight loss within a few years. And I definitely do not want to slide back into unhealthy habits.

I’ve realized lately that there are some things that I’ve also lost while I’ve been losing weight:

  • I’ve lost friends. Some can’t deal with me being healthier (read: skinnier) than they are. Some just can’t deal with the ways I spend my time differently (read: no more late nights, dining out and drinking lots of wine).
  • I’ve lost a long-term relationship. Now, I can’t attribute the end of the relationship completely to me losing weight and changing my lifestyle. But, I know for certain that this was a contributing factor.
  • I’ve lost a feeling of community I used to have — the things that are important to me aren’t important to the people I interact with on a daily basis. I no longer feel like I have any unifying topics to talk about with most people. Sure, there’s the weather — but they don’t care how it affected my run. There’s celebrity gossip — but, in all honesty, I couldn’t care less. We take for granted as a community of health and fitness bloggers that most “regular” people don’t talk about running marathons or take pictures of their food or discuss workout playlists.
  • I’ve lost (some of) my balance. Working out and losing weight almost became a second job — albeit part-time — because that’s what it had to be in the beginning. I had to fully throw myself into it to make it stick. (That’s just how I am.) But now that I’ve lost the majority of my weight and know better what I’m doing, I’m starting to focus on overall health and fitness. And I want some of that balance back. This is part of my life. But it’s not everything.
  • I’ve lost my sense of self. I don’t know this person in this body. It goes much further than I don’t know how to dress — cuz I don’t. But I honestly sometimes don’t recognize who I see in the mirror. And that can be a wee bit scary. As much as I’ve tried to work on this myself over the past six months or so, I can’t reconcile the reflection I see in the mirror with the person I know I’ve become.

Of course, I have gained A LOT more than I’ve lost by losing weight, becoming stronger, taking care of myself and living a healthy lifestyle. But, that’s the point of almost all of my other posts. That’s not the point of this one.

So, what’s this long post leading up to? I’ve got the whole take-care-of-my-body thing down. It’s time for me to take care of my mind. So, I’ve taken the plunge and called in the help of a professional. Starting next week, I will be seeing a therapist who can help me deal with some of these issues — with the major changes I’ve undergone in the last year and a half, I’m finally at a place where I can admit that I can’t do this myself. But it ain’t gonna be easy.

Yeah. I blog. I share my most intimate thoughts and feelings with lots of people, mostly strangers. And I do it without anonymity. But I do not like talking about myself on a regular basis. I don’t like sharing, face-to-face, personal details of my life. I don’t have many close friends, and some of the ones I do have probably don’t know me as well as they could because of my unwillingness inability to share.

Plus (and this is a BIG “plus”) I have a super hard time asking for help or admitting I don’t have all the answers. It’s true in all areas of my life: my family, my friendships, my career and my health. So I don’t know how this is all going to work out. But I need to do this for me. I know this is the next step on my “journey to well being.” I don’t know if I’m ready. But, I’m ready.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Time to Call in a Professional

  1. First of all, people don’t like to talk about how if they made an air freshener that smelled like steamed brown basmati rice you would spend hours at home just…spraying? Weirdos.

    Second, I think you know where I’m coming from when I say that I get it, although it’s the opposite side of the coin. I actually have a few notes for a future post myself about how I don’t recognize the person in the mirror–still–but it’s not in the “good” way.

    Anyway, sometimes deciding that no one else is responsible for your own happiness can leave you more lonely than fulfilled in the short term, as people don’t understand why you can’t just be the “old” person that they knew, and quite possibly, took advantage of in some emotional way.

    Most also don’t understand that your external appearance in no way reflects the internal struggles or successes you face on a daily (hourly) basis. It’s easy to judge from the outside, but few people take the time to delve a little deeper. I think this holds true for people about themselves as well, which is why so many people are content to continue on in a superficial way and lead a life of distraction instead of introspection. It’s easier to make excuses than it is to make changes.

    My point is that in the end, there’s only you. I might have a lot of issues that I struggle with, but you know what? I’m pretty darn content with myself on a psychological level because I am confident in my beliefs and my values. I don’t feel like my happiness depends on anyone else, so anything that gets added to my life is simply a delightful bonus.

    I’m boring, I have no idea what I “should” be doing with my life–or even what I want to do–but I know that what I do makes me content and at peace. I can always carry that with me. Hopefully you can find a way to reconnect with the Kim you know is in there and accept the fact that you’re really the same person, just with more options that you ever knew you had (and not just with clothes, which is a whole different story for me.)

    Good lord, this is a novel. Sorry! Just know you’re not alone, even if it feels that way sometimes.

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    • It’s interesting because I’m pretty content and confident with who I am inside. And I’m pretty content and confident with who I’m becoming outside. But for some reason, I’m just having a hard time seeing these two people as one in the same. It’s confusing, I know. And a bit tough to explain fully. Hence … the therapist. Hoping to just gain some perspective, I suppose.

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  2. thebreathyoutake

    Great post! I’m probably way off here, but to me it sounds like you began an incredible journey in 2009 that may have been primarily about losing weight… but it also seems as if it was about so much more than that – as if you were growing/changing on so many levels beyond just the physical (and maybe didn’t even consciously realize it at that time?). And as scary and sad as it is, the natural evolution of that was probably the changes you have experienced in some of your friendships, the relationship, etc.

    My two cents which are probably worth zero: Keep trying to enjoy the ride every day – the ups AND the downs… because based on what I’ve read in your posts, I think your changes are leading you on your way to some really great things – and the answers to what those great things are will absolutely come, but probably slowly and methodically – and very frustratingly not on any controllable timeline…

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