For the members of Team Noom Coach, including vets overcoming PTSD, just being in a military atmosphere during training was enough to trigger flashbacks.
"They get lost in another place," said Dr. Vanessa Lewis, who worked with all three South Pole Challenge teams in advance of the trek.
She tells us that it’s common to forget about the mental side of achieving a physical goal.
"We tend to focus on the physical injury because it’s tangible," she told us. "It’s quite difficult to understand the psychological side of things."
This seems pretty relevant for weight loss, too — how many times have you tried to start going to the gym or to lose weight by simply eating differently, without addressing the reason you have bad habits in the first place?
For the girls of Team Noom Coach, they would cope with their feeling by dissociation, meaning they avoided the things that made them uncomfortable. And while it’s normal to have some things you don’t care for, it becomes something else when those things are part of a normal, happy life.
If you feel yourself avoiding activities that ought to be enjoyable (like going out to eat, taking a walk with a friend), here are a few tips from Dr. L.:
- Face your triggers. If you know that going on a long walk used to make you feel bad about your body or your abilities, go with a friend and take a hike. Your negative perceptions will only get worse the longer you avoid a person or activity, Dr. L tells us.
- It’s ok to feel uncomfortable. Sometimes you have an emotional connection to a place or person, and that’s ok. If you start to feel that way, remember that you’re in control, and that this feeling won’t last forever.
- Stay in the moment. Sometimes we will pull ourselves mentally out of a situation to avoid our feelings. Stay in the moment by truly feeling your senses — smell the air, squeeze a ball, feel your body’s ability.
- Find your calm. Whether it’s listening to music, doing breathing exercises, or some other technique completely unique, find what makes YOU calm.
PTSD is a serious condition, and walking with the wounded is making strides to raise awareness. Join Noom in supporting the cause!