Goodbye and Good Luck!

Dr. Ramani shares her final wishes for the group.

 

It's time to say goodbye, or as we call it in therapy, "termination." 

As a psychologist, this has been therapy fantasy camp. All psychologists are voyeurs. Under normal circumstances, when you do therapy, you see the world through the client's eyes. You construct images of their partners, homes, parents, friends on the basis of their descriptions, and you almost never get a chance to see the reality. For me to have conducted group therapy, and then after we were done to go back via television and see their husbands, families, and homes has been a sort of secret dream come true –- to see if my "construction" matched the reality.  Thanks, Bravo! This is and will remain one of the most compelling clinical experiences of my career. 

I was on the fence about whether I would be able to do clinical work of any depth under lights and with cameras rolling. Time limits meant you didn't see most of the therapy, which is where these clients did heavy lifting and sweating of a different sort. They learned about why they eat what they eat, when they eat, how they eat, and where they eat. They unearthed old demons, and learned about respecting others and themselves. They learned how to talk about their feelings instead of numbing them. They were called on their BS and made to take ownership. If they sustain these weight changes, it will be because they were willing to do it from the inside out.

Shay revealed that her struggles with weight were more complex than initially thought. There is a frequently held misassumption that ethnic minority women don't get eating disorders. That is patently wrong, and the rates of eating disorders in African American, Latina, and Asian American women are on the rise. Laxative abuse can be done secretly, and many who do it report that the feeling of "emptiness," the "flat stomach," and the sense of "clearing out" following laxative use is gratifying despite being dangerous. They erroneously believe they can eat what they want and then get rid of it. Shay showed us that the psychology of weight goes well beyond ab crunches and protein shakes. These are VERY difficult and complex issues. Her revelation was courageous, and it will take time for her to make these changes.

As we sign off, let's review what we learned about weight loss. It's about respecting your body with healthy food instead of punishing it with junk. It's about pushing your body to new limits, and then finding out you can push your life to new limits. It's about realizing that your history may tell you why you eat what you do, but it doesn't own you, and everyone has the capacity to make these changes. It's about realizing that food is not a substitute for love. It's about accepting yourself, and engaging in the process of weight loss authentically. 

When I end with a client, as they leave the room, I wish a silent wish for them. They have done the ultimate bravery by allowing me into the most private rooms in their hearts and minds, and I am always grateful to have been part of their journeys. 

Here are my wishes for them:

Mandy –- May you stay healthy and be an active part of your family's life. Mothering is about taking care of yourself. I can already see you hiking with the grandchildren that will grace your life someday.

Bryan –- May you stay on the authentic loving path you have been following all your life, despite stumbling a few times. You brought breathtaking commitment to the program, and I hope that you see yourself in the loving and beautiful mirrors offered by the husband, friends, and family around you.

Joe –- Now that you are respecting yourself and others, I hope it leads you to a respectful relationship with a woman. Keep taking care of yourself and learn that a vocabulary of respect, not abs or bad bar banter, will indeed get you the best chick in the bar.

Shay –- You saved your most courageous song for the end, and I wish for you to keep dancing and enjoying your youth and your body. You are stronger than you think, and when you reflect on being there for your mom, and now being there for yourself, realize that you can do this on your own.

Jeana -– I want you to stay in touch with your feelings. Your vulnerability sits right under the surface, and as you trust your feelings and learn to express them, I hope they are met with respect and warmth from those around you. 

Nikki –- You get it even when you pretend you don't. I wish for you to stay "fabulous" without the snarkiness and the cocktails, you don't need them. Dig deeper and see what you find. 

Stacy -– I hope you keep laughing and keep others laughing and stop laughing at yourself. You had the biggest odds against you, and you never said die. I wish for you to persist, no matter what is put in front of you. 

So as we say goodbye, I thank Bravo and Jackie Warner for the opportunity to sit alongside you and for your recognition that psychotherapy is as integral to weight loss as diet or exercise. 

We all have inside of us a warrior, a leader, and a vulnerable child. Nurture them all. 

 

Everyone Deserves a Thintervention

Craig thinks everyone can achieve their goals just like the Thintervention clients.

For all our viewers at home, please answer these questions for yourself:

What is holding you back from your Thintervention success? 

When and why did your self destruction start with unhealthy eating and lack of exercise? 

Now let me answer this next two questions for you:

Do you deserve, and can you achieve, a healthy fit body?  

HELL YES!

Where does this start?

With you! With you wanting and accepting the fact that you are worthy and deserving of self love.  

One of my training mottos with my clients is, "Borrow the love I have for you until you find it for yourself". 

Success is not just measured by inches and by the scale. It's definitely a proper indicator that you are on the right track with your program. 

All of these clients found out what is truly necessary with a weight loss program. They now have the ability to do it for themselves.  

Let me break it down here:

Mandy -- Week two into this program we could see she was a champ! Mandy trusted us and followed the program perfectly.She worked out so hard that I literally would finish the session, step away without her seeing me, and cry.  Obviously, this training is what she needs. She is capable and seeing how hard she was working would bring me to tears. Thank you Mandy for showing mothers, wives, and all women that they are capable of having the dream body they never thought possible. You are a true example of hard work.  

Jeana -- As viewers could see, I was not in therapy sessions, and I actually never had a conversation with Jeana about her depression. I could tell that she battled this but did not hear it from her mouth. She had trouble finding the workout intensity necessary to drop serious weight. Depression does effect the ability to workout to intensity.  It slows down this process. But Jeana always showed up with a smile and willingness. And for that, I appreciate and love her. Jeana has such a wonderful soul. I'm so happy that she has discovered this about herself through this program. She is just as beautiful on the inside as the out.  

Joe -- I had the opportunity to spend some good quality time with Joe. I needed to have that talk with him at the resort, because I knew he was hiding behind what he thought was the "fat, funny guy." Well, he's not overweight anymore and his routine is not funny! So when he cuts the crap he is really a sweet, caring guy. He has so much to offer family, friends, and hopefully soon, a loved one. I trust that he will carry on with his new found self. His workouts were intense and impressive. For him to pack on that much muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat) and lose 42 pounds is extremely impressive. Congratulations, Joe! Hard work pays off! 

Shay -- I'm really proud of her facing and addressing her eating issues. So many women can relate to Shay. They think they are alone, and Shay showed them that they are not. You are a true leader Shay. I hope this motivates you to gain control of these issues and reach out to advise the millions of other women who are struggling with the same problems. I have a fondness for this girl for many reasons, but especially because she let me see her true inner self, and let me tell you, it's beautiful. 

Stacy -- Before working with Stacy, I would have said she "suffers" from  PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). A disease of too much insulin production and resistance to using that insulin effectively. But now I say Stacy "battles" PCOS and WINS! Like all women with PCOS, she never asked for this challenge. This condition can leave women confused, and feeling helpless with so many unanswered questions. They know something is wrong, but they just don't know what it is. Stacy never asked, "Why me?" Instead she asked, "What do I have to do?" I told her you have to work twice as hard, and she did! Her determination, hours in the gym, and researching her condition, makes me so proud of her. Stacy and I together recently reached out to Monika Woolsey (www.incyst.com) for answers. Monika is a leading expert for PCOS and Stacy is well on her way to gaining control over what she needs to do for herself. As a trainer, I feel very comfortable and confident working with this, and I have gained knowledge and understanding of PCOS. With Monika's help, I have the knowledge to train these brave women battling this obstacle. Stacy, you look gorgeous! My very good looking boyfriend, celebrity hair stylist Brandon Liberati, treated her to one of his incredible cuts for the finale. www.brandonliberati.com (shameless plug). 

Nikki -- Nikki has her demons, she recognizes this, and bravely is on her path to healing. I had an opportunity to talk with Nikki at our resort retreat after the pool workout, where she explained her focus during this workout was  her confidence and to simply be present in her bathing suit. The physical outside of one's body will not change until their insides are changed and issues are dealt with. 

Bryan -- Bryan himself will tell you this program is literally, and figuratively, not a piece of cake. He had his ups and downs, but when there were downs, he got back up and stayed strong. He leaned on the support of his loved ones, including Jackie and I. He was determined to finish every work out to intensity. He ate clean and really followed the program. 

These Thintervention clients make me proud to be doing what I do. Thank you all for showing me that the long hours, tears, and sweat we trainers put into our clients are all worth it. I love you all. You all have inspired the unhealthy world we live in.  

Now for all my Thintervention viewers -- Please stay in touch, tell me your story, your struggles, your successes.   I will be posting blogs on my website focused on fitness and eating tips, even information for my PCOS battlers out there with specific tips that can get you on your way to success. 

Visit www.craigramsayfitness.com