Come again? Prizes for orgasms?
This week was full of surprise...
When we lose weight we gain things –- confidence, energy, health, and sexiness. And one of my most unorthodox weight loss tips didn't get shown in therapy. I have told many folks the rule of FLAB -- to stop, pause and ask themselves why they are eating unhealthy foods, snacking, or overeating. Are they eating because they are frustrated? Lonely? Angry? Bored? Once they determine they are eating for the wrong reasons, then it is time to put the food down and find a substitute activity for that feeling. One of my favorite suggested substitutes is some quick masturbation. Yup. Put down the cupcake, rub one off and the urge for sugar will pass. Orgasm instead of Oreos. Other acceptable substitutes are exercise, internet, calling a friend, reading a book, taking a walk, cleaning your house. But orgasm is a quick and dirty way to kill the food craving and you get a glow to boot. If we are going for the "inner sexy," then I think it is the best way to go.
This week they looked for, and in some cases found, their "inner sexy." Sex is one of the first things to go when we gain weight. Sex is a place of tremendous vulnerability, and it is about literally and metaphorically bearing ourselves. Weight often ends up numbing and covering us up –- so sex suffers. After being overweight, finding sexy again is a tricky journey. Mandy and her husband have managed to keep the passion alive through an interesting mix of sex incentives and keeping it fresh. More power to them, I think it's wonderful. Joe came clean about some of his "hide the fat" sex tricks (though after watching his barroom approach to women, it is a wonder anyone is signing on). As a former chubby gal I know the tricks -– lights off during sex, the most flattering positions to hide the rolls of fat (lying flat on the back pushes the belly fat down and to the side), ways to sneak the Spanx off before sex.
This may have been the funnest therapy session of all. They were high off the fabulous Pussycat Dolls routine and the topic is one of my favorites. The session was about teaching them that sexiness is not about weight. It is in fact about confidence and self-love. About accepting our physical selves and knowing ourselves sexually. Weight numbs, and once it starts coming off, we start feeling again –- physically, emotionally, mentally and sexually. But as they find their bodies and sexuality, the process becomes self-reinforcing. They make healthier choices for their enjoyable new bodies, and exercise is a celebration of all of it working together so well.
Jeana and Nikki the week's big losers? How did that happen? Simple –- it was stimulus control. And this technique can help anyone out there trying to lose weight.
Simply put "stimulus control" means that when you control the setting you control the behavior. Want an alcoholic to stop drinking? Keep booze out of the house. Want to deal with a sleep problem? Stop using your computer in bed, use your bed only for sleep. Simple stimulus control is a KEY element of weight loss. THINtervention did this by having them remove sugar from their kitchens. If the junk's not there, it is harder to eat.
Our most challenged group members, Jeana and Nikki, got the ultimate stimulus control. They were removed from their dysfunctional home settings. And it is very clear that their settings were doing them in. Jeana's profligate world of chefs, yachts, champagne swilling girlfriends, and critical children. Nikki's world of cocktails, cocktails, and lest I forget –- cocktails. Bryan provided Jeana with structure, discipline, a glimpse at a loving relationship, and an equal investment in clean eating. Mandy provided Nikki with something she never before had –- a home, a family, a schedule, and no access to those infernal cocktails. Hopefully, they can then go back to the original settings, armed with the sense of power that the good numbers gave them, and some concrete ideas about what they need to do to get the weight off AND keep it off.
What does this mean for regular folks? It means that if you are struggling with weight loss, you may need to shuffle the deck. You may not be able to "move away" for a week, but you may be able to construct a "new" setting –- dump the sugar, get the booze out of the house, turn home into a place of pleasure, activity, social interaction, and fun. Cook and eat at home with friends where you can control portions and ingredients. Even if you can't afford to have masseuses come to the house, you may have a bathtub in which to take a languorous soak. Exercise at home. Do something other than eat when you go out with friends.
I am not sure how much they intentionally set out to "lie" last week. I think that in the worlds they reside, things happen automatically because the setting and their social words are set up to facilitate eating, drinking, inactivity, and the same old unhealthy patterns. Sometimes "escape" is not just over the top fantasy and pleasure, sometimes escape can wake us up to healthier patterns.
Give it a shot this week. Instead of reaching for dessert, find a quiet spot and take care of business. Let me know how it works out for you. And if you aren't willing to do that, think of other ways to substitute food with your inner sexy –- send a dirty text (to someone who wants it), buy a vibrator, if you have a partner try something new in bed, or maybe the two of you can use the kitchen table for something other than dinner. The more you enjoy your body, the better you will take care of it.