Fixing the Biggest Issues
I used to be a huge fan of The Biggest Loser when it first started. I was bigger back then and was super excited to see people change their lives for the better. The thought of losing that much weight made me so happy since I was around the size of a normal woman on the show. The transformations were amazing and inspiring. Who wouldn’t want to lose that much weight especially in only 3-6 months. I always wished I could leave for a ranch and do that…kind of in the same way I always wanted to be on The Real World before it became all about sex with strangers and fights with roommates…wait maybe it was always about that.
But as the seasons went on and the people got bigger I kind of lost interest. It no longer seemed realistic to the “average” overweight person if there is such a thing. I had lost a good bit of weight by the time I stopped watching and wasn’t as inspired by watching the show. And lets face it I got sick of watching all the product placements. No gum is not a snack and sure I know milk is good for my bones. And I love Jennie-O turkey as much as anyone but I like to make my own decisions on what foods I should it. Sometimes I wondered if I was watching the show or one big commercial. I still love Jillian and Bob but I preferred listening to Jillian kick some butt on her podcast and Bob make my thighs burn with his awesome yoga for weight loss.
Well tonight I was at the gym and V was not on thanks to the Presidential address. So my choices were So You Think You Can Dance, The Office or The Biggest Loser… oh and CNN but I wasn’t so keen on that while running on the treadmill. I would have fallen asleep and fell off 🙂 So I started out watching SYTYCD and realized I hadn’t been watching all season and didn’t really connect with any of the dancers. So I flipped over to BL tonight. And was pleasantly surprised.
Tonight before they went nuts and ran a marathon without training they were talking about how to deal with the issues that got them to be the heaviest cast of Biggest Loser ever. I found it really inspiring to hear the contestants talk about what issues in their past made them eat and how it made them feel at their heaviest. And even more inspiring than that was listening to them talk about what changes they had to make at home to not turn to food for comfort again. I was almost crying on the treadmill listening to Liz talk about her relationship with her husband and Danny talk about how the problems didn’t just disappear when the weight went. Oh and Rudy talking about his sister dying really hit home with me as well. Amanda is sweet and reminded me of how I felt at her age when I was heavy and unhappy. It was almost a sobfest for me and I’m glad I was sweating so that I could hide the few tears that left my eyes as more sweat.
For me I gained weight when my parents started having trouble. I stopped being as active and I started eating. I ate and ate. My mom felt bad that my dad left and fed us to show she loved us. Family holidays were full of food. I ate when I was happy, I ate when I was sad, I ate when I was bored. By the time I was at my heaviest I didn’t know how to handle emotions other than by eating. As I started to lose the weight I swapped food for exercise. I would go for long walks or hit a class at the gym or do a workout on TV instead of eating my feelings. Not the best way to handle it but it was healthier than comforting myself with cookies and pizza. By the time I lost the biggest part of the weight I was addicted to exercise and not the food. But I still hadn’t dealt with my issues.
When I entered seminary I had a change of insurance that covered counseling at 100%. I had been in counseling in my past but didn’t do it consistently. I kind of hate talking about myself and have a paranoia that people don’t really want to hear about my problems. It took me a long time to realize the counselor is paid to care and help sort them out. Kind of like the best friend help without having to build a relationship or “date.” I enjoyed my time with the new counselor and started working on issues from my past and present that made me think of food or in this case exercise. We talked about how my weight made me feel and how to deal with my problems. We even talked a lot about how the change from Teaching middle school to being a seminary student affected my new habits. My counselor was so supportive that I actually continue to “see” him through phone sessions even though I no longer live in the area. I try to see him once a year in person when down there for continuing education. He was actually one of my biggest supporters (besides this guy) when I started gaining weight with my back problems. He even came to our wedding ot support us.
Realizing my problems and working on them…and continuing to work on them really has been key to my weight loss and maintaining. I’m more likely to talk through the problems than eat them or even exercise them. I still like to exercise (or shop) when I’m stressed or upset but not as often or hard-core (even with the shopping 🙂 ) as I had been in the past. I’m sure that the weight will stay off as long as I face my issues head on instead of burying them in food, exercise or shopping.
How about you… Have you worked on the issues that make you turn to other things for comfort?