Gaining weight is a team sport. For most people struggling with weight loss – you didn’t get here alone, and you aren’t going to get out of here alone.
This week on THINtervention, we learned that despite the snarky remarks and their outright antipathy for each other – that there was real power in coming together and holding each other accountable. If you want to drop the pounds, then you might need to work with other people. Yes, at the end of the day, we are responsible for every pound since we ate the food, but we don’t become us in a vacuum.
Sometimes motivators may come in the most unlikely packages, and our underminers may look just like us. Despite their nasty remarks about each other, Nikki and Joe were actually able to get up that hill together; Bryan and Kim found a collective sweet spot in their competitive natures. Ironically – the “well-matched” duos in terms of age, economic status and lifestyle – Jeana and Mandy as well as Shea and Stacy – didn’t get as much out of their matches. Shea and Stacy were locked in an enabling space of insufficient effort. During their time together, Mandy reflected on her health and her children, while Jeana reflected on the martial artist’s loveliness and a future of sexy bikinis. Finding a workout partner who is “off-type” may push us in unexpected directions. Now, our group faces new collective challenges, Kim will no longer be with us, and everyone will now come together in a different way.
The darkest side of how others shape our present selves was revealed in the courageous disclosures of Nikki and Bryan during our session this week. Our 2 resident humorists exposed childhoods impacted by notable betrayal and loss, and their humor has been a successful tool for keeping the hurts of the past at bay. We learn how to treat ourselves by watching how others treat us. When trauma and betrayal characterize development, self-abuse in a variety of ways including food or alcohol can frequently follow. Despite the past, now is the time for all of them to learn how to treat themselves and hopefully each other, respectfully.
Overweight people often become invisible. To the world, and to themselves. As their weight comes off, they will start experiencing the world differently, and the world will experience them differently. The personal excavation of weight loss sometimes unearths old stuff or hopes they don’t wish to remember. Jackie is teaching these clients to physically reach for things they think they cannot grasp. Jackie and Craig aren’t building muscles – they are building courage. That courage then comes into the therapy room. They start peeling off the psychological layers and pounds that numbed them and take honest stock of their lives.
Losing weight is not just treadmills and protein shakes – it is about discarding old scripts and facing old demons. A new body can be both exhilarating and terrifying. That terror of the unknown can make people hold back and sabotage well-intentioned weight loss attempts.
This week – let your reach exceed your grasp. Push yourself – inside and out, even if it hurts. Challenge your stereotype of yourself. Workout with a mismatched partner – and push yourself out of the comfort zone to a place of change.
Now it’s time for you to weigh in. What’s going to happen to the group with Kim gone? Will Nikki’s revelations be a wake-up call? How will Shay fare now that her mom is gone? What about you? Who has been a supporter in your weight loss struggle? Who has undermined you? What were the key lessons you learned about food at your childhood dinner table and how do they shape your eating now? We can learn from the past, but we are not governed by it.