I had my therapy appointment yesterday. This one was far more positive. There is much to parse out, but I want to start by talking about a definite thing I learned about myself.
My lack of desire for a relationship has absolutely nothing to do with my self esteem issues of my weight.
I learned this simply. The conversation veered in that direction, the therapist hinted at my disinterest in a relationship and my labeling myself asexual. She asked “why do you think that is?” a question that twice in the past sessions related to other topics have resulted in emotional distress as I come to the conclusion I bury deep inside. When it came to not doing much in the way of art, the answer was my self esteem and not feeling good enough.
I believe the therapist thought that my lack of relationship desire was related. That I felt I wasn’t good enough for a partner. That if I lost weight, if I learned to love myself, I would be ready for a relationship. So when that leading question of “why” came about I think she expected more tears and for me to admit that it was because I didn’t feel good enough.
That turned out not to be the case. I said with complete surety and not a hint of a tear that I had no interest in relationships. That I didn’t think it was fear of rejection or anything like that. That I’d ended 3 of the 4 relationships I’d been in because I wasn’t happy. And that I honestly just preferred to be alone. That I didn’t want to feel responsible or obligated for anyone else’s happiness on a daily basis but my own. Selfish perhaps, but the same reason I don’t want kids.
She asked me where I saw myself in 10 years. I said I saw myself in my tiny house, by myself, with a dog and a horse maybe. She accepted that and didn’t push it. I wonder if she believes me or still feels that I am suppressing the truth. Regardless, the conversation moved to horses. She asked me if I had one.
That is the reason for the picture for this blog, but not the main focus of the blog. She told me of a horse rescue near where I live that specializes in draft horses. She suggested I contact them about possible volunteer work, something to get me back around horses and also something to get me a bit more active. Because becoming active was the major focus of the session.
Planning myself skinny.
First, a certain Southern Wizard will find it amusing that I sat for a good 10 minutes listening to my therapist talk about how “woman’s bodies plateau” and that “eventually just walking and counting calories wont work” because “your body will start hoarding fat” because women’s bodies do that. And that after a while I’ll need to “step up” my activity as my body becomes used to the current activity level. Gandalf would smirk at the thoughts running through my head, as they were basically me thinking the same things he told me time and again. That it’s simple math. Burn more calories than you consume: lose weight. Period.
She is a therapist, not a nutritionist. I have full confidence that I could simply count calories and lose weight. However, some of the things we spoke about I may actually do…because it sounds fun.
She asked about physical activities, if there was anything I liked to do besides art, tv, writing, reading. Stuff that would get me up and moving. She also asked about exercise and I admitted I HATED the very THOUGHT of exercise. I mentioned archery, kayaking, horseback riding and swimming.
She asked me at what weight I would be comfortable doing those things again. I told her that kayaking actually had a number. That most kayaks are designed for 250 pounds including equipment, so I felt 230 was a good weight to consider getting into that. And at that time I might also be interested in riding again.
That is when she suggested the horse rescue, to ease myself back in. But that is also when she suggested two things. First she suggested setting a few dollars aside each week that I meet my goals for activity and diet. And that if I do well by the time I get to 230 I’ll have enough for a kayak. I said that was a great idea, except for the fact that if I wanted a kayak I could just go out and buy one, I make almost a grand more than my bills. But that that money is going to my tiny house. I wasn’t completely off-putting, I did say it was a good idea and that I may do that or else look into some other way to reward myself.
She also suggested the local Y. Apparently it is an amazing facility and membership comes with free weightloss management and a couple free sessions with a coach to get you on a workout. It gives access to a gym, sauna, indoor track, various exercise/cardio machines, and weight machines. She was telling me about how all the weight machines are electronic and remember your settings and measurements when you go. She told me about the walking trails and swimming classes or the always open free-swim pool.
It actually sounded pretty neat. Trouble is membership is $60 a month. Yeah I could afford it, but that’s $60 not going to my tiny house.
Regardless, she also talked a lot about planning. About getting myself some kind of calendar, setting up weekly and monthly goals. Not just weight number, but staying under calories, meeting certain activity levels, and including other goals. X-hours of doing art if I want, or x-hours of time outside, or whatever I want to improve on.
I know that all I really have to do is continue to count my calories. I don’t have to go for walks, I don’t have to join a gym, I don’t have to get out of my house. But listening to her talk I actually began imagining myself doing these things in my head. Keeping some kind of planner that schedules certain activities on certain days, keeping weekly goals to meet and challenge myself with. It seemed almost…fun.
Of course, I know myself pretty well, and I know that that “fun” probably wouldn’t last long. The shine would wear off.
She also suggested finding a show I really want to watch and telling myself I can only watch an episode if I’m on the treadmill (at the gym or at home probably doesn’t matter).
I am not sure what to do. Part of me wants to run out to the Y after work and get a membership. It’s close enough that I could potentially go during my lunch breaks at work even. Part of me wants to call that horse farm and see if they need volunteers. Part of me got a planner at Walmart already with the intention of using it for work and personal.
Part of me wants to go back to bed.
Just thinking about being so active makes me tired.
I am going to brainstorm a bit. See if I can come up with any activity goals I might actually enjoy, and rewards that might actually entice me to do such things. It’s hard knowing that I don’t really have to. But at the same time…two weeks from know she is going to ask how it’s going. If I am making any progress, if I called the horse farm, if I made a plan, if I joined a gym, if I did any of the things she suggested.
What reason do I have for saying no?
What is the point of even going to therapy if I am going to ignore the advice given.
Already, in just the 3 sessions I’ve done there have been improvements. I’ve done more art. I’ve started reading again. I’ve stopped spending so much time in front of the computer. I got some watercolor paints and tried those out. I’ve realized some weaknesses in myself. I’ve found what holds me back (fear of not being good enough) and what negative things I do to myself. There has been positive things from these sessions. So do I owe it to myself to give this woman a chance and take her advice?
I’ll do some brainstorming. I’ll see what I can come up with.
In the meantime, this weekend I think I may get some boxes and organize my stuff. It may be very premature, but I think I want to begin testing myself. I want to see what I can do with less stuff. I think this weekend I will box up everything I don’t want to keep. Set aside everything coming with me. I may even do the minimalist experiment. Box up all your stuff and only take out stuff you need as you need it. At the end of the time period (usually a month) anything still in the boxes is stuff you don’t need.
That’ll keep my active. It’ll clean my room. And it will prepare me for tiny life.