In the last 15 years I have yo-yo-ed from 11 to 16 stone, mainly at the upper end.
I have very low self esteem, blame myself for everything bad that happens in my life, try to keep everyone happy etc…find it difficult to talk about it to people as I have a small social circle and don’t want to burden them with my problems.
After I retired in 2021 I managed to go from 14.5 to 12 stone. I think mainly as I had finished work ( which I had always found stressful) and joined a gym which I’m now fed up of.
This year I have regained 1.5 stone, I’m sure it’s because I’m dealing with a very sick parent and some very judgemental siblings as well as dealing with an imminent house move.
I’ve tried every diet under the sun but any sign of anxiety and I am straight in the chocolate box to dampen down those feelings.
This morning I have been researching Ozempic, the new weight loss drug and after telling DH I was doing this he begged me not to as ‘you’ll only end up disappointed again’
So now I am thinking maybe counselling or psychotherapy to get to the bottom of this? Has anyone tried this? Can anyone give me advice or opinions?
There is a very good book called The Last Diet by Shahroo Izadi (also look her up on YouTube). She has a background in therapy and addiction counselling. She does not focus on diet, but on understanding yourself and your eating habits, building self-esteem, identifying ‘gateway foods’ that lead to over-eating (or less than ideal food choices). She is very encouraging, cheerful and positive. The book helped me a lot.
For anyone with serious weight problems I would have thought that counselling or other therapy was essential, starting several months before the diet.
Weight gain, any weight gain, is the result of eating too much. Successful weight loss is made up of losing the weight and then keeping it off and I think, as the OP shows, too many people lose the weight and then revert back to the eating patterns that put it on after the weight loss.
I would have long thought that psychological support was necessary to adjust to a new attitude to food and in developing an eating pattern that is as enjoyable as the damaging one, so that the tempation to miseat has gone.
I do not think the diet you use to lose weight matters, just find one that you feel comfortable and workable.
If you've tried all the physical routes to lose weight and it's still an uphill battle, then yeah, maybe the issue is more psychological than physical. Addressing the underlying emotional issues could be a game-changer for you.
Therapy could be super helpful to identify triggers and find healthier coping mechanisms. My advice would be to go for it; talk to a counselor or a psychotherapist. It could help you a lot in understanding yourself better and finding sustainable ways to handle stress and emotional eating.
My girlfriend and I actually tried couples counseling in New York City to work through some relationship issues and stressors. We did therapies there, and it helped both of us feel better mentally.
This might not be completely related to the main topic, but here's what I can tell from experience: my son struggled with low self-esteem due to how he looked for a long time. He was never overweight to an extent that would've harmed his wellbeing, but he just wasn't pleased with how he looked and hated going out to buy new clothes... I think he was feeling really low during the final years of high school. We supported him in every way we knew, but in the end, it was he who decided to break the cycle, once and for all.
He did it by focusing on how his body "felt" after every meal or snack. If he felt like walking was suddenly difficult after a meal, then he made a note about that particular dish and whenever we had it for dinner again, he would get really careful not to overeat. He did the same with desserts, ice cream, cakes, etc., he basically ditched them for several months. He also avoided white bread, only had it for breakfast, and tried to have his last meal of the day before 7 PM. He noticed that helped him fall asleep on time and wake up rested.
He also began jogging around three times a week together with some basic exercises like a few sets of push-ups and pull-ups, and that was it! His mood took a hugely positive turn soon after he made these few changes to his lifestyle. He never stuck to a diet plan or read a book about losing weight, as far as I know. He just focused on how his body reacted and set a goal of feeling happy for a change. Then he just traced the potential steps of what would it take for him to stop feeling angry with himself all the time, and, as it turned out, he knew himself better than anyone else
I have recently been following Ayurvedic advice which recommends only organic food, eating a proper meal at lunch time, no snacks and a last light supper before 6pm.. the weight is coming off.. and I'm sleeping better and have more energy
although it might sound expensive only having organic food I actually buy less and don't have any ultra processed food or expensive snacks