Weight Loss Therapy
Have you spent a lifetime struggling to maintain a healthy body weight?
Ever wonder why you turn to food in times of stress, anxiousness, sadness or loneliness?
Have you lost a significant amount of weight but now feel overwhelmed by all of life’s changes?
Are you in a relationship where your partner says they support your weight loss goals but you still feel unsupported and even sabotaged?
If you can relate to any of these common experiences just know that you are NOT alone. My speciality is working with people who are thinking about losing weight, are in the middle of a weight loss transformation or recently completed one. I firmly believe that weight loss is hard enough by itself that you should not have to go through this process alone. I am one of the only clinicians in the region to offer Weight Loss Therapy that is designed to help:
- Explore and understand the reasons why you end up emotional eating, eating for comfort, or using food as a way to meet your unmet needs.
- Educate you on the common changes you will experience in your mind and in your relationships during and after your weight loss journey.
- Learn tools and strategies to navigate common pitfalls that occur during weight loss so that you are ready to keep the weight off for good.
- Heal old wounds that might have lead to using food as a friend or ally in difficult times.
- Separate your self-esteem and self-worth from the number on the scale.
- Advocate for healthy balance in your relationships during and after weight loss.
Highlights of Armando’s Research with NBC’s The Biggest Loser
My Fight With Fat (MFWF) Dr. Armando Gonzalez, LMFT, talks with MFWF Founder Armando Aguilar about the common themes found in his research with former contestants of NBC’s The Biggest Loser.
How Weight Loss Therapy Can Help You
My exclusive academic research with NBC’s The Biggest Loser allowed me to study the common changes that unfold during drastic weight loss. That research has informed my therapy practice where I help people towards making changes that will help them keep them weight off and feel a greater sense of confidence in themselves and their new healthy lifestyle.
**Read Dr. Gonzalez’s exclusive research with NBC’s The Biggest Loser here: CLICK HERE
I believe YOU can achieve a full weight loss transformation by…
- Untangling your identity from the number on the scale
We live in a weight shaming society that makes it hard for overweight people to see themselves for anything other than the shame of being overweight. As a result it’s common to experience low self-esteem and self-worth. This leads to developing an identity that’s wrapped up in being an overweight member of society (i.e: the funny fat guy, the overextending friend, the helper, the fixer).
Being Overweight cast a shadow on your other strengths and accomplishments in life. Learning to see yourself separate from the number on the scale will help you begin to integrate those strengths into your personal story. This gives way to a belief that you are lovable and worthy regardless of the number on the scale.
These strengths ultimately will be allies in a journey to develop a healthy relationship with food again. Once you escape shame you will be well on your way to achieving the life you want to live free of using food to meet emotional needs.
- Being able to understand how you are using food to meet emotional needs
For those who have spent a lifetime battling our weight we know that food is more than just nourishment. Food is a comforter…a companion…a safe haven from stress, anxiety, loneliness, and even depression.
- Identifying the feelings and emotions that trigger you to overeat
Getting to the root of the problem by understanding what is truly driving you to overeat will help you learn new ways to respond to that feeling/emotion. For example, many clients of mine identify that anxiety, fear of failure or fear of rejection recruits them into overeating in order to feel numb and (temporarily) better. That relief is always temporary though, and afterwards that temporarily relief is replaced with a more permanent feeling of shame and disgust. Of course that only leads right back to the arms of the comforter—food!
- Healing the deeper wounds
Exploring the history of your relationship to the feeling or emotion that leads you to overeat will often lead you to a specific life event, or pattern that could use some additional healing and support. Overeating is often the response to loneliness, sadness or discomfort. When we understand the deeper wounds that led us to overeat we begin to see it for what it truly is a coping mechanism—a way of advocating for our needs the only way we knew how.
For example, fear of abandonment, or loneliness, might have a history that traces all the way back to childhood as a result of a parent leaving through divorce or from a parent simply not being emotionally available. Engaging in a process of healing that deeper wound by processing it, understanding it better and eventually accepting it as a part of your story will lead you to greater compassion and empathy towards yourself and compassion for why you use food to comfort these deeper emotional wounds. Once we are open to healing in this way we are then ready to more effectively learn new ways to respond to that feeling that does not require food to comfort us.
- Learning new ways to respond to your trigger feelings
Now that you are aware of the feeling that recruits you into overeating you can learn to respond to it differently. For a client who realizes that fear of abandonment often recruits them into isolation with food they now have a choice in accepting or declining that invitation. Instead, they may chose to decline the invitation to the food party and: a) learn to develop safety and comfort in turning within to acknowledge, validate and self-soothe that feeling without food or b) learn to express that fear or concern in the relationship that it originated in.
- Realizing that YOU are not all alone
Knowing that you are not alone in struggling with food, that many others think the same way about food that you do (no you are not crazy!) will create a sense of validation and solidarity that gives way to empowerment and the building of a community that can support you in your health journey.
- Making weight loss a piece of a bigger change process—and not the main focus
When weight loss is the side effect, or piece, of a bigger global life shift then you are more likely to succeed. Making a lifestyle change is always more successful long term then simply setting out to lose weight. If you believe you deserve more out of life at some point during your weight loss journey it becomes less about weight loss and more about making an internal transformation that leads to the life you truly desire.