I’ve mentioned before that Hannah and I are doing the Noom program. It’s still going pretty well. It’s all psychology-based, mainly DBT-type focused, and it’s almost magical the way it’s been helping us.
A little while back, I did a twenty-week DBT course. It was led by three therapists with almost a dozen of us in the class. It was pretty intensive. It covered pretty much everything, and I wish I’d taken it twice. It was a lot to remember, but I still have all the lessons on my computer.
Noom starts off your day with short reading lessons which have been like little refreshers for me, helping to reestablish my DBT skills a lot more.
Recently, our lessons have been teaching us to play detective by gathering evidence and making scientific evaluations based on experimentation. One of the side experiments I decided to do was to keep a daily journal for at least 30 days. The intention is to write down my daily thoughts and feelings and keep track of any thought distortions I might be having. In turn, my goal is to see if I’ll be able to identify what it is I’m actually feeling and see if I can lessen these thought distortions over time.
Sometimes I can touch upon some of my feelings, but most of the time, I’m either unsure or undecided as to what they really are. It’s hard for me to define them. But in just a few days, I’ve already been able to identify a couple of my thought distortions, which I think is pretty remarkable. I was able to see them by freely writing down my thoughts. That’s easier to do.
The first thought distortion I discovered I had was I cannot ask for the things I need. Pretty terrible, right? Why can’t I? I really thought I couldn’t. This has led me down some dark shame spirals, I’ll tell you. All completely unnecessary too. Now that I see this, will I destroy this silly thought distortion somehow? I don’t know, but now that I’m finally identifying it, that must count for something. A first step, I’m sure.
The other one was that I was a loser because I lacked energy. I might feel like one when I’m totally lethargic (which is often), but it doesn’t really mean I am one. There are a lot of reasons I lack energy. Some have to do with having an autoimmune disorder, and that isn’t my fault. But some are kinda my fault. They are things I can change. I just have to be more willing to change them.
For instance, now that I have been wanting a dog—I mean, I’ve been wanting a dog forever, not just “now”—I need to step up my health so I can keep up with one. Even a dog with a moderate temperament. A dog will help me get moving, which I need to do. I need to change my life and get healthier. I know I need to get more movement back in order to get a dog.
As of today, I am the lightest weight I have been in many (like seven) years. Since the pandemic, I have lost forty-nine pounds! It’s taken forever really. I have cut my calories and worked my way up to walking almost two miles a day. That’s a lot for me. But since I started Noom, I haven’t been walking much at all really. Half of that weight came off from changing my eating habits. Go figure.
I think what has stopped me from walking is because I’ve been smoking off and on, so I quit yesterday (again for the umpteenth time). This time, I’m motivated by the dog thing. I’ve been obsessed over getting one. Obsessed, and much more serious about my decision-making by weighing out the true pros and cons.
I have a habit of looking on Petfinder anyway. I tend to do that from time to time because I’m a little crazy. I do that and look on Realtor.com for houses I can’t have too. Why? I don’t know. But over the past month, I’ve been looking on Petfinder a lot more seriously, looking for a dog with all the perfect qualities that would fit into my life and be a good candidate to train as an emotional support animal. An AKC-certified one.
I’ve looked at over a thousand house-trained filtered profiles from San Diego to Thousand Oaks. That’s like a 250-mile radius. Maybe I’m not quite ready to adopt, but only one dog has matched with me and I’m going to meet him tomorrow in the West Valley. That’s a three-hour drive. I can’t bring him back with me if he’s everything I hope he is. Hannah would probably kill me. I would kill me too because it would be way too rash. But if all goes great, I’d like Hannah to meet him very soon and see about adopting him if possible.
But, I don’t want to get my hopes up, so I won’t describe him yet.