Home Q&A Wednesday Q&A Wednesday: Is There Such Thing as Having a Fear of Losing Weight?

Q&A Wednesday: Is There Such Thing as Having a Fear of Losing Weight?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Q: Can you address weight loss fear..This morning I was getting ready for work and nothing fit..everything was way to big lol..I got rid of all my jeans over size 10, but my work clothes I’m still holding on to the 12 and girrrl they look bad lol..I can take them off without unzipping them

I understand completely.

When it comes to weight loss, we all get mixed information. We should be able to “lose 7 pounds in 7 days!!!!!11111ONE” yet, at the same time, “99.999992% of all people who manage to lose weight ultimately gain it all back,” even though “you’re definitely fat and you need to lose the weight immediately” because, if you don’t, your ability to advance economically in society will be negatively impacted.

I mean, wtf?

In the early stages of my journey, I didn’t let go of my wardrobe because I genuinely didn’t trust the results I was getting. I mean, I’ve blogged about how my underwear fell off in the middle of the grocery store (long, silly story) once, because I just didn’t trust that I was truly sizing out of the garments I loved and knew I could trust.

In my mind, the trust is the issue. It’s difficult to trust ourselves and trust the process and trust the results and trust your ability to ‘protect,’ for lack of a better phrase, what you’ve earned. If this is the first time we’ve experienced weight loss success, it’s a scary place to be. Letting go of what’s been comfortable to you; [in some instances] having finally found clothes that fit you at your larger size and then giving them all away despite a fear of re-gaining the weight and having to hunt for those sizes all over again; realizing that letting go of your older sizes really puts a major responsibility on your shoulders—not just to your wardrobe or to your body, but responsibility to yourself to make sure that you commit, forever, to your new active and healthy lifestyle.

The fear isn’t necessarily fear, from what I can see. It’s trust, and you have to begin to frame it that way in order to get past it. Can you trust that the way you’ve lost the weight thus far is sustainable enough that you can carry it on from now on? Can you trust that the way you’ve been eating to lose the weight is a way you can eat forever? Can you trust your ability to commit to this new lifestyle and keep it going, making it a priority and keeping it as such from here on out? If you can’t answer yes to those three questions, what you have is a feeling of fear—fear of your inability to make it happen. If you get rid of the fear, the inability to trust yourself and your abilities still remains, which is how you know the fear isn’t the problem, though: learn to trust yourself, and the fear dissipates.

Ultimately, when I moved back home for a few months a few years back, I wound up giving all of my old sizes away to Goodwill, and it wasn’t because I trusted myself. It was because I couldn’t fit all my stuff in my mom’s house without her cursing my name every time she saw another box of my stuff in her house. I took a deep breath, said to myself that I believe in my ability to achieve and maintain what I was after, thanks to everything I’d learned about myself, food, and fitness during my journey. After that, I humbly dropped off several bags of clothing to Goodwill, thankful that it was something I could actually do because of my progress and hopeful that the clothes would go to someone who could use them as much as I could when I bought them.

Trust in what you’ve learned on your journey. Trust in what you’ve learned about how to nourish yourself and enjoy your life while doing so with your health and fitness in mind. Trust in your new lifestyle, and let the clothes go. Know that you’ve got this, and it’s as good as done. And let those clothes go!

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Jj March 16, 2016 - 9:34 PM

I’m glad I came across this today. I feel like there are so many things people don’t tell you about the psychological aspects of acceptance of your new body but I never linked them with trust. I have yet to purchase a new wardrobe yet but I assumed it was more of an acceptance that I actually did this darn weight loss thing and succeeded but the idea of having to redo my wardrobe actually overwhelms me. I used to hide for concealment I don’t know where to even start now that I actually want to wear clothes that flatter rather than hide me.

Jem March 20, 2016 - 8:16 PM

I have this fear. Initially I thought a lot of it for me was due to being concerned that I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe. But I know I could go to Old Navy or a thrift shop and find new stuff. I’ve become attached to some things. At this very moment I have two pairs of what I call jogging pants that I sleep in. I used to be able to take my dog out for a walk in the mornings with them on…now I can’t because they will fall off. I just need to spend the money and stop (mentally) blocking this process.

Clearly I’m a work in process.

DS March 21, 2016 - 12:28 AM

Wow. I had just recently discussed this very thing with my therapist, and here this post was — and on my birthday no less. LOL…My fear is more a fear of failing myself again. I have lost 50, 70 pounds — and then gained it all back and then some…And not on some fly by night lose weight quick scheme…healthy eating and exercise….But still….So my thing is to not be afraid to believe again — in myself — and do what I know how to do to again lose this weight and the rest I need to lose beyond that and keep it off for good this time. Thanks for this post and words of encouragement. I have been reading you for quite some time and have found you to be much inspiration. peace…..

FoodLove Girl March 22, 2016 - 9:58 AM

I recently wrote a post about this issue too. I have struggled with this for years -the fear of success. For several reasons – feeling like I can’t succeed at this because that would be too much success so I have to “stay fat” in order to be successful at other things. Also the whole too much attention part and feeling uncomfortable. I think it all comes down to the story we tell ourselves and changing the story. Changing the story so that it helps us instead of hurting us. One day at a time. Great post!

my post on this same subject: http://www.foodlovemefoodhateme.com/are-you-afraid-to-be-thin/

Leanna March 22, 2016 - 7:26 PM

My fears are people charting and commenting on every pound lost and critiquing my body. I really don’t want people praising or condemning my size.
Every one claims it’s about health but no one says ” oh how Healthy you look” .

They feel that weight lost give people a pass to stare and gawk. It’s like they are trying to steal my efforts. If they compliment or encourage , my hard work is part theirs. But you didn’t compliment me before or encourage, don’t start now. I lost weight DESPITE YOU!
People even have the nerve to say things like : oh, gonna get a man now , huh. Or trying to get sexy for a man? Or I bet you’ll get a boyfriend now.

So offensive and presumptuous. What? Are you implying I’m was not lovable? And still not quite there?
I hate and fear it, for my health I have to block it out some how.

Udeme March 23, 2016 - 1:29 PM

“letting go of your older sizes really puts a major responsibility on your shoulders—not just to your wardrobe or to your body, but responsibility to yourself to make sure that you commit, forever, to your new active and healthy lifestyle.” So true! I can totally relate.

MissC March 29, 2016 - 3:33 PM

You are always right on point! That’s what I love about this blog. It is always easier for me to relate to other people who’ve actually gone through a weight loss journey as opposed to listing to people who’ve never been overweight tell you how you need to “just stop eating.” I digress, lol. I have been on my own journey for about 3 years now and I have lost and maintained a 100 pound weight loss. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sabotage efforts on behalf of my best (skinny) friend…or the return of several ex’s professing their “love” for me. I wasn’t prepared for the total change of mindset, nor had I realized exactly how socially limited I had been prior to losing weight. I could go on and on. I even found myself slowing down my own progress simply because I needed time to accept the “new” me. The me that didn’t have to be the “funny fat friend” etc. I mean seriously, it’s deep…and only someone who has gone through it could understand so thanks for this.

NiaX29 April 10, 2016 - 3:23 PM

Been in therapy for at least 6 mos, and I’m at the point where I’m not sure if I’m ready to workout. Have been able to acknowledge the sources of stress, frustration, anxiety, etc that fuels the cortisone factory but my weight has not gone down. Thought that once I work on ceasing the cortisone factory my weight would start to decrease a bit and go into over drive once I start to workout again. Why do I still hold on to the security blanket of the extra weight and inches when I’ve handled the sources of the cortisone factory? Will my body respond once I eradicate the sources forever?

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