Are You Afraid to lose weight?
A big part of why we can’t lose the weight and why when we lose it sometimes we gain it back – is FEAR. That dirty four letter word. It paralyzes us and keeps us from doing the things we were meant to do and achieving the things we want most in this world. It may seem strange to you that I am suggesting you are afraid to lose weight. That was an insane concept to me when I first heard it. I first heard this idea in the book – A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever. If it seems like I mention this book a lot, you are correct. That is because it really, really helped me get to the underlying issues that have been plaguing me for years. It also got me to connect the dots of my past and my life and how incidences in my past affected me in a much bigger way than I ever admitted. And it got me to realize – that I am afraid. I am scared to lose weight.
As much as I have said to myself, to my family, to my friends, to my husband, to – whoever will listen- I want to lose weight – as much as I’ve said those words, deep down, a part of me is afraid to actually accomplish this feat. On some level, I’m afraid to be thin.
I think that all of us overeaters have some fears that motivate us to overeat and keep us from freeing ourselves of this emotional hell and living our lives freely and completely. Some of our fears may be the same and some may be totally different but nonetheless we all have them.
I lost 30 pounds in 2001/2002 and I eventually regained it all by 2010. In 2010 I lost 30 lbs again! Only to see it come back with a vengeance in 2012. And here I am again wondering how on earth I could gain it back again. Why can’t I believe in myself enough to believe that I can live my life as a thin, fit person permanently?
You can’t keep the weight off if you don’t believe that you can really do it. If you doubt yourself then you will bring that doubt into fruition. I have been sabotaging my own efforts and keeping myself from the very success that I claim matters the most to me. Why? There has to be a reason.
Scared to Lose Weight
I believe the reason lies in my fears. I am afraid of being thin and instead of facing my fears I keep pulling myself back from the finish line by overeating and “slipping” and gaining the weight back so that I stay in this lose/gain cycle. Believe it or not, as frustrating as it is to keep losing the weight, on some disturbing level – it’s safe. It’s a familiar ground for me. I know this place of yo-yoing and making a plan and exercising and obsessing about the scale. I’ve been here before and as long as I stay here, I don’t have to face what’s next.
That’s scary. What will I do with myself if I don’t have to worry about losing weight? What will I do with my time? What will I think about? What will be my “accomplishments” when it’s not the latest weight loss goal?
The answer is: EVERYTHING.
I will do everything else I’ve ever dreamed of doing. I know you’ve heard the saying referring to addicts: “getting the monkey off your back”. Well overeaters are addicts to. And in a way, our “monkey” is this looming goal of being an ideal weight. It holds us back from so many things. At least it has for me for sure.
It is my quest on this blog to do two things. #1 I hope to use this blog as a tool to express myself in a way that is healing and helps me conquer my fears and lose this weight for good. #2 I hope that I can clearly express to you, my readers, what is working and what is not so that you might be able to create a shorter roadmap to your own weight loss goals by learning through me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if this blog can help just one person shorten their own weight loss journey and reach victory even one day sooner and end this misery that much sooner –then it will have been worth it.
So once again, I would like to share with you some of my journey today by letting you in on the fears that I figured out through the exercises of A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever. If you see something that hits a little too close to home for you then I hope you take solace in the fact that you are not alone and that I plan on tackling these fears in the open for you all of you to witness. If your fear is not on this list, I hope that you can at least see how doing this exercise might help you figure out what your fears are. Because make no mistake –you are afraid of something. You are eating to compensate for a lack of something and when you lose weight and gain it back it is because you are afraid to face whatever is really going on and so you seek refuge in food.
Here is the list of why I’m afraid to be thin:
I’m afraid that people (my family!) will speak about my weight loss it is as if it’s temporary. I’m afraid I’ll believe that myself.
I’m afraid of those initial looks and comments when people notice that I’ve lost the weight –I both love them and hate them if that’s possible. If they notice it means I lose enough weight to be noticeable and that’s great but along with that comes awkwardness of more attention. And more pressure to keep it off.
I’m afraid I’ll have nothing to obsess over if I no longer have a weight problem – it’s like the weight loss battle is a part of my identity now – who am I if I’m not the girl trying to lose weight?
I’m afraid of losing all my excuses for not being more social. I’m always claiming that being more social will mess up my diet or that I need to exercise more instead of hanging out with people. Losing weight will mean no more excuses for not being social.
On some level I feel like if I’m not fat then I will look like I “have it all” (albeit on a very superficial level) and that makes me feel like I’ll be vulnerable to having something else, something very important taken away from me.
I’m afraid of all the time I’ll have which will justify me finally having to go after my other dreams. They won’t be on hold anymore. I keep saying, “I’ll work on that once I lose the weigh. I don’t have time for that right now because I’m focused on losing weight but once I’ve got that done, I’ll get right on that.” Once I lose the weight I won’t have any more excuses. I will actually have to chase my dreams.
So it’s time for me to face my fears. I’m afraid to be thin but I can fix that! I can face down this fear! Step one was writing this list. Step two was admitting the truth about this list by sharing it with all of you. Now comes the hard work. I have to start doing things that obliterate this list. I must stare down these fears, own them, and conquer them once and for all. As a result I’ll lose the weight one last time and I won’t ever gain it again.
What are your fears? Are you afraid to be thin? Are you ready to conquer your fears? Share with us in the comments section. We’re here. And we are listening.