Treating Overweight Couples

Overweight couples may suffer in their relationships.  If both people in a couple are overweight there may be some bonding and support from each other, and this can be nuturing.  If you stay isolated from the rest of the world this would probably be O.K.  But we all live in some sort of community and overweight people are often subjected to taunts, discrimination and rejection.  These issues can lead to feelings of low self esteem, shame and depression.

Overweight couples may also suffer from feelings of failure.  It’s likely both people have tried to lose weight in the past.  Maybe they have and recall a time when they felt good about themselves.  Now that picture, or time in the past, can become the enemy as they hold it up to themselves as a measure for their happiness. “If I could only be that size again, my life would be O.K.”  When we struggle to attain a desired weight, or look, we suffer with feelings of sadness and disappointment if we don’t succeed.  We might even get annoyed or angry at ourselves for not being able to complete a goal.

Often, eating is a way to soothe hurt feelings.  Food tastes good.  Eating feels good.  Sometimes people eat when they are sad.  People also might find themselves eating out of boredom.  Maybe you are angry.  This is another feeling that could lead to overeating.

Once you get to a point where you would like to make some changes in your life, why not consider investigating your situation from a different angle.  An important step to understanding your eating habits might begin with a therapist.  In a therapy session it’s possible to uncover deep feelings we hold about ourselves.  Often it’s these feelings tied to messages we tell ourselves that guide us to food and overeating.  Understanding how we think about ourselves is a great place to start as you travel on your road of health.

People who suffer with food issues may want to live differently.  Looking inside ones’ thoughts and feelings for answers is one way to shift a person’s thinking.  As individuals we all share the capacity for introspection.  Why not give yourself a chance for a new you?  You are worth it.

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Looking Underneath

There are many reasons why people seek counseling.  One of the most common is that they are unhappy in their lives.  They know something doesn’t feel right, and they long for a time, place, and feeling of something better.  They can’t really describe this place but they know they want it.

These clients I’m describing are all successful.  They’ve built something with their lives; careers, relationships, families.  They are rooted in what they do and their responsibilities. They may be proud of their accomplishments too. Yet sometimes they say they feel like a fraud because of a hollow place inside.

I know, having changed careers to become a therapist, I’ve gone through my own challenges trying to find that better, more peaceful place that many of my clients seek.  I know it’s hard to look underneath everything you have constructed and you know to be true and have lived for the last 20, 30, or 40 years.

But unhappiness is a terrific motivator.  When people are unhappy in their lives they will do what they do best, look for a way out of the unhappiness.  Often this search leads to counseling and that path leads to understanding the self.

What does the person want out of life?  What makes the person happy?  What would the person like to change?  These are simple questions.  Yet the answers are sometimes very hard to know, because most people are too busy with their lives to really look. 

So look now at your life.  Are you in a place that feels right?  Are you content?  Notice I’m not asking if you are happy.  I know that this feeling is fleeting.  It’s great to be happy.  Finding what makes you happy is what I am interested in and that journey takes practice.  It starts with you saying yes to you.

If you live in a place where you say to yourself “I should” before everything you do, I’ll bet you feel tired and overworked.  If your way of being consists of saying “no” a lot it’s possible you experience anxiety and stress.  In both these cases “self care” is probably on the back burner.  Self care; I talk about this a lot.  You may be saying to yourself “I don’t have time to be selfish.”

Sometimes we don’t know how to honor ourselves with self care.  We may be experts at helping others, and we may be accustomed to putting our needs last.  By the time we get around to taking care of ourselves we are exhausted, and we might even get mad. 

I like to help people learn to attend to their needs, wants and desires.  That doesn’t mean you have to ignore everything you already do in your life.  It just means you make you a priority to you.  You learn how to take care of yourself in a way that feels good to you.  This is where you grow, like developing a new muscle.  And you know that unhappiness I talked about earlier?  When people find a way to take care of themselves they feel less unhappiness. 

Feeling content, grounded and peaceful, I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t long for it.

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