Back in February I posted about the Take a Load Off (TALO) program that I was participating in through work. I haven’t updated my blog since then, because this has been a very overwhelming process for me and I needed to keep some of this to myself for a while.
But here’s my first update, and it’s a doozy.
For the first 7 weeks of the program, I did nothing much differently. I was slowly reducing the amount of caffeine I was taking in, through both coffee and sodas. I did stop going to fast food restaurants and having pizza delivered. But that was about it. I hadn’t even really been to one of the weekly meetings of the group.
But for whatever reason, after that 7th week I was all in. Well, OK, I was 75% in. Maybe 80%.
I went to my first meeting and when it was my turn to check in, I told them that I had almost completely given up caffeine, and told them about the changes in eating habits. But I needed some help with more nutritional changes, because I wasn’t someone who cooked at all; I didn’t even know basics like the difference between roasting and sauteing and baking and broiling and steaming. Just to name a few. But what I needed even more help with was wrapping my head around the idea of exercising again.
See, in 1992 I was working at GNC and working out at Gold’s Gym. I had a personal trainer and a nutritionist who were helping me get in the best shape of my life. Not that I had been in bad shape before, but I had a dancer’s body. With their help, I was creating curves and muscles where before there was just skin and bones.
Until the night of my 22nd birthday. My best friend and I went out to drink and dance until the wee hours. I knew I’d never get to the gym the next day so to avoid getting in trouble with my trainer I invited him to come along and celebrate with us. And he was easy on the eyes, so that’d be a plus too. At the end of the night, he raped me.
I haven’t set foot in a gym since then. The very idea of “working out” or “exercising” in any way, shape, or form is enough to bring on a panic attack.
I had never told anyone about it. I hadn’t even admitted to myself that it was unwanted, after all, he was good-looking and I had a crush on him up until that point. But I HAD said no, to which he replied, “I made this body and I can do what I want to it.”
So, needless to say, this TALO program has taken a lot longer than I anticipated. I started seeing a therapist that week and have been to her every other week since then. She asks hard questions and assigns hard homework. We don’t talk a lot about the rape but we do address it every now and then. We talk A LOT about my mom and my relationship with her. We talk a lot about the negative thought patterns that have been ingrained in my brain over the past 40 years.
I’m Taking a Load Off, for sure. Not in the way I expected to, but I guess in a way that’s even more important.
According to my scale at home, I now weigh 152 lbs. 13 down.
Still a long way to go.