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‘I went to an eating psychologist. This is what happened.’

It’s been a month since I wrote about my struggle with my weight.

A lot of things have happened since that story was published.

Friends who I haven’t spoken to for years reached out to me to thank me for putting into words what they couldn’t say. I received an abundance of advice, some of which I had to just nod and agree with.

It was overwhelming to say the least, but it felt like a boulder had been lifted from my shoulders.

One person who reached out to me was Tammy. She’s an eating psychologist who offered me some sessions.

Before now, I associated seeing a psychologist with admitting something was wrong with you, admitting you were a failure, that you were weak. But it turned out to be completely the opposite.

Author, Laura Hampson.

Instead, speaking with Tammy has made me realise all sorts of things.

We spoke about my diet, the exercise (of lack there of) I was doing. My main body concerns, the food groups I eat ... and just about my life in general.

For one, it was nice to talk to someone who was completely unbiased about what was happening in my life. Tammy had no clue who any of my friends and family were, which meant I could talk about them with ease.

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But it was also great that we could talk about food and the attitude I hold towards my body. In the first session we talked about how I only like to do exercise outdoors first thing in the morning, before most of the world is up, so no one can see my tomato face.

But as I was talking to her, I realised how vain I sounded. Why do I care so much about what other people, especially strangers, think of me? Any why do I assume they think anything about me in the first place? This thought was the grounding for the next session, I made a mental note every time the thought that I was being judged flickered across my mind. And it helped. The more conscious I was of it, the less I had these thoughts.

We also talked about nutrition and, as it turned out, I needed to up the protein in my diet. We found ways that I could that, and also about foods I could eat that would keep me fuller for longer, hence cut the cravings for sweet and fatty foods.

Last year hiking the Abel Tasman in New Zealand.

By the third session I knew exactly what I wanted to talk to her about - combating my perception of food so I didn't feel like I 'deserved' a chocolate if I'd had a good or bad day.

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We were about halfway through the session, talking about my fears and something clicked. My body felt like fireworks - as if a bright light had suddenly switched on.

I’d had an epiphany.

I’ve always been a high achiever. Good grades, ambitious, a dream-chaser - and I’d always managed to tick my goals off my list. Except one.

Losing weight had always been put on a pedestal. In my mind, it was this unachievable goal that if I reached, would make everything in my life better.

I would be happier, more confident, more extroverted, I would be able to talk to people with ease and not be the quiet one in the corner.

I’d be able to leave the house and not feel as if everyone was judging me, I would be carefree and just happy with who I was.

But the thing is, even when I do lose the weight, I’m not going to change. Yes, I may feel happier with how I look, but I will still be who I am now.

Somewhere in the South Island of New Zealand. (My homeland).

And that was my light bulb moment. Thoughts rushed through me, everything seemed to suddenly make sense.

The thing that’s been holding me back is fear. Fear that I won’t have my Cinderella moment and magically be this different person when I lose the weight, that I won’t suddenly transform into this confident extrovert. That’s not who I am. And it’s been that fear of not achieving this goal that’s put me in this comfortable freeze.

Without knowing it, I've been making excuses to not look after myself properly. Just little voices in my head telling me that I have too much to lose and what if I end up with excess skin at the end? What will I do then? I've been so concerned about the final goal that I've been subconsciously disallowing myself to lose any weight. I haven't been making my health the priority it needs to be.

I went home that Friday afternoon with new seed firmly planted. I knew what I had to do, and it may sound ridiculously simple, but it was all about changing my lifestyle and being happy with who I am now.

Because if I'm not happy within myself now, then what's to say I would be at any other size?

Have you every considered seeing an eating psychologist? Let us know in the comments.
You can contact Tammy on 0458984808, or by email: [email protected] and www.bodylovematters.com. She's the best.

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