Fourth Decade: Sucking the marrow out of life since 1969.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The GateKeeper

I still smirk internally when the hypnotherapist calls me The GateKeeper.

I had my 4th hypnotherapy session today. We're spacing them out to two weeks...frankly because it is so damn expensive. But the two weeks also gives me time to see if my mindset is changing at all.

Trying to change my thoughts about food and exercise and the underlying fears attached to them feels a little bit like fine-tuning a radio station to come in clearly during bad weather. The clouds are definitely there, thick and ominous. But I can hear the tune faintly. The drumbeat. A twang of guitar now and again.

(In) Control

My four Cs. These words started out as how the hypnotherapist and I agreed I wanted to feel, and would hopefully begin to feel, about food. I have to admit I thought I would notice an instant difference. And I had to pick myself up off the floor when I didn't.

But what I have started to notice is a subtle trend in the rest of my life. The Cs are starting to accompany me everywhere. Especially at work, as my interactions with obnoxious coworkers turn into me standing up for what's right and fighting what's wrong. I noticed it also with my family and friends, and definitely at home with Ricos where I am less and less interested in controlling things I cannot control and slightly more interested in controlling what I can control: my thoughts, my feelings, and what I choose to put in my piehole. 

Although we've taken a couple strolls around the neighborhood, it is hard to pick up any steady pace. The roads are horribly uneven without sidewalks. The gym has been looming in the back of my mind. And today in the session, I discovered today's fear of returning to the regular workout is rooted in the fact that I don't want to hurt myself again. The knee pain I experienced last time I hurt myself on the treadmill was tremendous. And the frustration of not finding a knee support brace that fit my leg did a real number on my confidence.

So the takeaway from today was that I could take the 4Cs into the gym, and I could pace myself very slowly and not feel like I have to keep pace with anyone but myself.

And I think I will. I think I will.

After all, I am The GateKeeper.

(Ghostbusters, anyone?)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Incredible Life to Live

I always wanted to try hypnotherapy for weight loss, but I kept putting it off due to expense...

No more excuses. I had my first hypnotherapy session today. There will be more, because it will take some effort to remove the negative thoughts that are embedded in my head. I just hope they aren't written on my soul.

A quick summary of the session is that it wasn't much different from a deep meditative state, except someone was speaking.

Over the past few months, my world seemed to shrink. Not unlike putting on clothes that fit you last week, except they'd been shrunk in the dryer and someone forgot to tell you. Or like Alice in Wonderland trying to get out of the dollhouse when she seemed oblivious to having grown too large.

I don't know why this happened to me, but it did. Fear seeped in like flood water and mold grew rapidly.

Fear started to smudge away the edges of my well-painted life. Even the impressionist painting I imagined of my life became something completely unrecognizable. I pretended to myself that it was just the cute little finger painting of a 2-year-old ankle-biter, but I could never really forget that it was the life of a 41-year-old we were trying to pull into focus.

So, once in a deeply relaxed state, the therapist asked me to create a place in my mind's eye where I felt comfortable. Obviously, we've all heard it referred to as "the happy place" in countless jokes or movies that reference hypnosis.

All of a sudden, without any forethought whatsoever, I was in this wonderful field that is far behind the buildings on the grounds of the college I attended more than 20 years ago. And completely out of space and time, my sweet Sena was there with me, even though she'd never been in that field. My subconscious was busy creating my ideal location. And it was far from any technology. No phones. No laptops. No other people. The weather was perfect, not too warm, not too cold, sun shining, light breeze. I felt so relaxed and happy, smiling from ear to ear.

What a great place to be!

The therapist then suggested to me a very subtle body gesture (such as, touching two fingers together) to sync with the happy place. And when I wanted to feel calm, comfortable, [in] control, and confident, I could do so with this slight gesture that would remind me of my perfect place.

When he brought me back out of the relaxed state, I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I was overjoyed that Sena was there. She was right there in my subconscious mind, ready to help me, ready to remind me that I can control my fears, my eating habits, and my level of exercise.

I am hopeful I can reprogram myself to feeling well again. Because I do have an incredible life to live.

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