Project Healthy Holly
I am shrinking — only, not the kind of shrinking that I enjoyed in 2017.
While I am not gaining any weight, I am not losing much either. By not losing much, I mean an average of one or two pounds per month. Which on one hand, is really frustrating because I have been chipping away at this for over one year now – and at the current snails pace, that means it will take me five more years to get it off! On the other hand, I am proud of the progress I have made and need to have a little more compassion for myself. Ninety-three pounds is nothing to shake a stick at, sheesh! So I guess I am stuck somewhere between feeling super impatient, and super proud of myself. Also, if I am being completely honest, a little worried that I haven’t been able to crack this plateau.
Speaking of losing ninety-three pounds…
If I had been given a crystal ball when I was at my heaviest with the ability to see the future me, I would have fallen on my knees in pure joy. I have so much to be excited about and thankful for, yet I can’t help but wanting to be done with this stuff (I initially typed ‘shit’ because it more accurately describes how I feel – but I’m trying to be less offensive) already! I still have roughly sixty pounds to lose, so this is no time to sit on my caboose and coast. I fill my body with high quality whole foods; I move my body a minimum of ten thousand steps per day; I rest my body for seven to eight hours every night. I am, by most accounts, a healthy person. I am a healthy person who has hit a plateau. I am a healthy person who has hit a plateau, but I don’t think it’s the food and/or lifestyle that is stalling me. I am a healthy person who doesn’t think it’s the food and/or lifestyle that is stalling me, so I am going to stay coach-able and try new avenues.
“Where are you at?”
This is a question that Jennifer asks us on our Project Healthy Body group calls. It is a good way to get honest with ourselves and get Jennifer’s help in tacking any challenges we are facing. On the last group call, I expressed my frustration with how slowly my weight loss is progressing. While qualifying that she is not a psychology expert, Jennifer suggested that I might benefit from working with a therapist to unravel any tangles in my past that might be contributing to my plateau. Although I have done a lot of work on my emotional health over the past year, I have never tried formal therapy to unpack the roots of how I got here – not because I don’t believe in therapy as an essential tool in understanding why we are the way we are, but because, frankly, it just didn’t occur to me.
While I do believe in the amazing benefits of seeking therapy, I am positive that I have a degree of bias toward it because when Jennifer suggested it as a possible next step, there was a sprinkling of defensiveness in my inner reaction. A slight stinging sensation, even though I enthusiastically agreed. I suspect that one of the things I need to dismantle is my tendency to attach the process of needing healing and therapy to “other people”, but not to myself. Even though I have come a long way in getting real with where I am at, my 10/10 outlook is still pushing down things that I need to let bubble up. While I have come a long way in uncovering and unraveling the perfectionism and control-issues that got me here, I still have plenty of work to do. Just ask my husband Craig what it’s like to drive with me in the passenger seat.
Just because I am often asked for advice, or just because I spend the majority of my time helping others (at work as an EA, at home as a wife and mother, and as a PHB coach) doesn’t mean that I don’t need help and advice myself. Taking care of others is amazingly fulfilling work, but it is also amazingly unhealthy work if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. This whole weight loss adventure has been systematically layering in more and more healthy habits – one on top of the next – which eventually crowds out the unhealthy ones. Last week was a real awakening that just because I have the obvious habits down does not mean that I am done. Eating the right things, burning a bunch of calories through exercise, and getting enough sleep is great (and it sustained me for a long time). However, those things by themselves aren’t enough anymore. I need to dig deeper and unblock whatever is in the way of my progress. Like Jennifer often quotes,
“there is no THERE there!”
I had my first therapy session last Friday. It was wonderful, and I can already tell that it is going to have an impact on my progress. I feel as if I am onto something, and that the next phase of my adventure to health and wellness has clicked into place. Sometimes to get to where you are going, you have to start with where you’ve been. Like one of my childhood idols, Julie Andrews, sang in The sound of Music….
Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with ABC
When you’re stuck you begin with THERAPY
Also, just a personal thank you to Jennifer for always guiding me toward the next step, to Facebook for caring about their employees mental health and wellness, and Lyra Health, for helping me easily source and engage a therapist whose experience aligns with my goals.