If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Biggest Loser, you know that there can be a real fear of losing weight. It’s almost hard to understand – why would anyone want to stay heavy, knowing all of the negative results that come from it?
For many, being heavy equals being invisible. You can be afraid of the new attention that comes with an improved figure, especially if the attention is sexual. There could also be a fear of losing self control in sexual situations if you feel more attractive. If you are one who has experienced sexual abuse, being heavy could be a way of keeping yourself invisible in order to avoid further abuse.
You may be afraid of succeeding at weight loss, and the increased pressure that comes with success. The excitement that comes from new opportunities in your life can be daunting, and some just don’t even try. You may be afraid of not succeeding. After all, it’s very easy to say, “I’m never going to be successful at anything,” and hide in your weight. You might fear losing your friends, especially if your relationships revolve around food. You may fear having to work incredibly hard for the rest of your entire life. Maybe, you don’t like to exercise and the thought that you will have to do so for the rest of your life is overwhelming.
Have you been burying your emotions in food? When you are sad, do you stuff food in your mouth, rather than determine and fix the reasons for your unhappiness? Many people don’t want to face what they’ve felt. Lastly, are you afraid of what other people will say about you if you decide to get into shape?
Instead of hiding in your fears, face them. Take the time to make a list of all of the things that you fear might happen if you work hard and acquire a new shape (increased attention, always being hungry, never enjoying your food again, having loose skin, finally succeeding at something) and, one by one, knock those fears down. Journal a rebuttal to each one. Pick a way to overcome each obstacle and do not allow yourself to dwell on them.
You may benefit from working with a counselor. Look for one who deals with weight loss issues and devote a slot in your calendar to resolving these issues. By working through the underlying problems, you will feel free to live a healthier life and get into shape!