I love metaphors and analogies and fortunately, so does my therapist. In the year and a half we've been working together, we've used comparisons to wheels, bicycles, tangled vines, seedlings, and prison visitor rooms. My favorite, though, is the one we came up with at my last session: weeding. (Which is odd, because yard work is my least favorite type of chore ever.)

Let me explain.

Photo by FoeNyx, via  Wikimedia Commons .

Photo by FoeNyx, via Wikimedia Commons.

There are two basic ways to remove a weed from a garden: rip it off or dig it out. When you rip off the weed, you're removing only the top part of the weed. The roots remain, and the weed regrows. To truly remove the weed permanently, you need to dig it out--and dig deep under the root to make sure you remove the entire thing.

In essence, that's why I'm trying to do with my health.

In the past, I've focused only on losing weight. In essence, I was ripping off the top of the weed. The roots--the causes of my weight gain/overeating--remained. So of course, the weed regrew, and I gained the weight back.

This time around, I'm digging out the weed by its roots and damn, those roots are deep. This weed has been growing for decades. It's going to take a lot of work, a lot of dirt, and a lot of time to dig it out. The result, though, will be longer lasting: true health--physically, mentally, and emotionally.