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Part II–Mental Repairs

Brain

Let me start by saying I really appreciate all the positive comments from you, it really has been helpful. I really do mean it when I say you out there really are the inspirations. (Which totally gave me an idea, but more on that later). Sure my last post came with a handful of haters but what doesn’t? If I didn’t sound appreciative of the opportunity I was given to be on the show, I apologize. I am, but I guess I don’t see something wrong with admitting that I should have done things different and talking about the struggles that right or wrong directly came from it. I really hope we aren’t a society who believes everything we see on TV. :) That being said…on to part II.

As you can see from the first post, I hired a personal trainer. I needed help fixing my fitness. I went to an expert. Don’t get me wrong, Chris will always be the best personal trainer I have ever worked with, but he is crazy busy! If there is one thing I have learned, its when you need help and have to ask, ask the best. I value my time, and I don’t want to waste it.

Which brings me to part II of this series. The worst part – mental. Comparatively the physical or fitness part is the easiest to fix. The second hardest is this one.

Here are some statements that may surprise you:

  • “I hate my body worse than when I was close to 400 pounds.”
  • “I have a borderline severe anxiety attack when forced to get on a scale that is not the one I have been using forever” (doctors love this one)
  • “I can’t even look at myself in the mirror”
  • “I can’t look at a picture of myself”

Someone actually said those things….Me. The amount of confidence degrading self loathing has been monumental. Those four statements barely skim the surface. On the outside you would NEVER be able to tell this. If you have been in a meeting with me, you definitely wouldn’t believe it. But alas its true.

So what do you do when it gets this convoluted? Go find an expert….

I went in search of a therapist. That is a lot harder than you think. I basically need someone who works with people with eating disorders. Yep that’s me now. Mr. Eating Disorder. or should I say Mr. Extreme Eating Disorder. If you ever take this route, make sure you have a first session before deciding on someone. The first therapist I met with told me she was an expert on eating disorders. Within the first 30 minutes of our first session and first time meeting me she was already telling me I needed Wellbutrin and Weight Watchers. She clearly didn’t get it, epic fail. The next one was via Skype (which I thought was brilliant with my travel schedule) however she told me I was depressed, needed a prescription and barely let me talk. Again this was within the first 30 minutes. The last one I tried was an epic fail only because he wanted me to fill out about 20 pages of background on myself then went straight to asking me those same questions. Then at the end of the session told me eating disorders wasn’t his main focus but that he could help me.

Until finally I found the Dr. I have now. She is amazing. She gets it. She is there to help, she understands what I am going through. She even told me that she can only help me so much. I really needed to get everything checked out by a medical doctor to make sure it wasn’t physical as well. Genius! This was the first time I could talk to someone that helped to solve these problem who knew how to communicate effectively and had a plan to fix it. After a few months of sessions I have learned quite a bit about myself.

I learned I am fiercely independent. Duh. But it always comes back to bite me because, hey! - I’m smart enough I should be able to figure it out myself. It usually doesn’t take that long for me to figure out something new, especially when its crazy technical and complicated. So its frustrating that this behavior which seems so simple is so tough to change or figure out. I also learned how I am dealing with stress. (By the way I am visual thinker, so analogies work best on me.) Think of a pot with a lid on it boiling on the stove. You’re the pot and the boiling water is your stress. When it gets too hot and starts to boil over, what do you do? You take the lid off. For some people when things get too stressed or too much is going on or for whatever reason they “take the lid off” by having a drink, yoga, cigarette, etc. I “take the lid off” by eating. It doesn’t always have to be bad food either. In all honesty there have been days where I have eaten perfectly clean and healthy. However its all moot when you eat 6 pears or 4 apples or 5 meal bars or in my case all of the above. Its not only quality its quantity no matter how healthy it is.

Lastly, the most important realization I had to come face to face with is that I am a food addict. Damn it!  I hate, hate, hate that label. Of course being a food addict is the best (or worst) kind of addict depending on how you look at it. Unlike booze, smoking, sex, drugs or even Yoga, food is acceptable anywhere and everywhere. You can hide in plain sight. (Although who would argue if Yoga pants were acceptable anywhere and everywhere Smile)  As an outsider I would think come on….who is addicted to food? I wouldn’t have put myself in that category. I mean I actually eat very clean, I haven’t had fast food in almost 8 years, and I love fruits and vegetables. So ok fine, I’m a food addict. I think more specifically I would even create a subcategory that I am a sugar addict. I’ve even joked that I would snort lines of sugar. Smile  Mmmmm….sugar is my drug of choice. Smile

mmm…sugar….ok ok….back on topic…..

I’ve been trying to do what my therapist suggests. For example, when I was travelling I usually stay at a Residence Inn (I’m already smart enough so I don’t need a Holiday Inn express. – jk) I usually stay there because they have a full kitchen and I can cook for myself rather than make choices and eat out. Sounds like a good plan right? Wrong. I was eating all this food, albeit super healthy, when I was stressed about the days next meeting, missing the fam or whatever. So she told me to eat out. Make better choices when I eat out and don’t bring anything back to the room. One bad meal is better than 15 healthy ones. Damn it, she’s good. That’s just an example of someone who is thinking about what help you and what YOU need.

To go back and explain the statements from above I made about myself, the amount of pressure I put on myself would turn coal into a diamond. Those statements I made sound strange to some, Im sure. But there is a whole new set of challenges when you lose that much weight in about 9 months. Where I come from, you don’t judge someone or something you don’t understand because you haven’t walked in their shoes. I’m not here to berate the show, whistleblow or whatever negative connotations some may be thinking. I don’t think I have any right to tell you how to be successful. There are so many varying factors, even between Rachel and I our problems with food  are very different. I do know I would be in a much better place knowing what I know now. Let me save the rest of that conversation for the last part. :)

I have been following this amazing group on Facebook that a good friend introduced me to. Its called Eat the Food….so simple. But it really is. Its this group of incredible people that are strong, proud and fighting their own perceptions and demons. Everything they post resonates with me. Which leads to the next part…

I have to admit I had a rough week last week, I fell and failed hard….which brings me to part III – Spiritual Repairs. See you tomorrow and thanks again for your support.

Comments

  1. I can totally identify!!!!! I have a food addiction. I have lost 128 lbs in the last 7 and a half months…and I am still working on the last 30 lbs. While I am so happy that the weight has shed so quickly, my brain has not caught up. I need some physical, mental, and spiritual repairs as well. I have not had the TV show experience, but I completely respect what you have said. I didn’t see it as a bad thing. AND…even if I didn’t agree with it (I don’t have an opinion since I’ve never had the experience) this is YOUR blog, YOUR thoughts…YOUR opinions! Thank you again for being so real and putting yourself out there. You are an inspiration! Keep on posting! Shake off the haters…like Paul shook off the poisonous snake in Acts 28:5!

  2. Jason, your bravery and honestly continues to amaze me. Thanks for putting out there your struggles. We all have them and you sharing helps so many!!!! It’s awesome seeing you become the best YOU that you can be!

  3. I admire how open you are to share all this with the world. Not everyone is a strong as you and you’re setting an amazing example to your kids.

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