Change is hard, fearful, exciting, and most worrying unknown. What will it be like when I lose weight? However as much as there are many positive factors to losing weight, there can be some emotional negative ones. These are not so obvious but are the reasons we are afraid to lose weight and they stop us from losing weight.
I don’t think anyone talks about the reasons holding you back from weight loss. It is a misguided conception that everyone is excited and gunning for it to lose weight. And yes, I think most people consciously do want to lose weight. Though underneath the surface when people start to lose weight, up come fears and emotions that stop them. These are unconscious fears. Yet they can be so overwhelming and powerful that it stops people on their weight loss journey, and they go back to what is known no matter how uncomfortable that is. These fears come up again and again which is why many people lose some weight only to put it back on again or just get stuck in a dieting cycle.
So here are 5 reasons that I have seen as why people are afraid to lose weight.
1. Fear of failure
What if you go on a strict diet, you eat healthily, you stick to it, exercise and you do not lose weight. What if your body does not change? You have done diets before and they have not worked so why would this one work, so sod it I might as well eat. It is pre-supposing that being on a diet is some strict life sentence that is not fun and very restrictive. To do all of that and then not lose weight is a devasting thought. A way around this is, what if there was no failure? What if you do not lose weight, you only find ways of eating that do not work? And guess what, you keep going until you find ways that do work. Plus think smaller, we might have a lot of weight to lose and the thought of not losing anything is horrible. So even if you learn to lose 2lb, that is 2lb, it is still weight loss. Celebrate all the small wins and aim to go slowly and steadily to find out what works for you.
2. Fear of attention
When we do lose weight our bodies change. Some people it can be noticeable on their faces and around their necks. This can bring in comments and even though they can be well meaning it still can bring in a lot of attention that you are not used to, nor do you want it. It means someone is focussing on your body or they have seen you changing shape. A question to ask here is why do those comments bother you? Why does it matter if people do notice you? Why is it that you do not want them to see you? There may be incidents going back to your childhood, if you suffered abuse or just hated the focus being on you. When you work out the origin, you can heal that part to help you move forwards past this. It is being able to manage any attention and comments that come your way.
Related reading – Is my Childhood making me overweight. https://www.vanessamclennan.com/is-my-childhood-making-me-overweight/
3. Fear of change
What will change because of you losing weight? Because weight loss does not just affect the body, it also affects the mind. By losing weight, we often feel good. That is going to affect those closest around us. We do not take people bullying us anymore. Maybe we are no longer the friend that can be relied on to be the biggest in the group. We start shining bigger than someone else and that puts someone’s nose out of joint. Our lifestyles might have changed, especially around eating times, and eating habits. We are leading healthier lifestyles and that might not be what happened when you first met your partner. All these fears around the what if’s can be overwhelming. Here is the thing, you do not know what will change or how much something is going to change. Nor can you control how other people are going to react. Change also happens little by little so you can manage events that happen in stages or nip things in the bud when they arise. You can also control how much you change and sometimes all others need is a reassuring conversation that your relationship is not going to change, all that is happening is you are getting healthier.
Another interesting read – Why do we fear change. https://www.verywellmind.com/i-fear-change-how-to-cope-with-the-unknown-5189851
4. Fear of putting on the weight again.
What if you do all the arduous work, you are diligent and then you put it all back on again. That has happened before and that is so disheartening. What if you let down your guard and the weight creeps back? This fear can stop you from even trying in the first place. To help here, look at what being on a diet means, if it is restriction and putting in lots of effort and depriving yourself, you naturally are going to at some point let your hair down and if you have been depriving yourself, you are going to want to have something that is forbidden.
5. Fear of the unknown
When we do not know what will happen this stops us in our tracks. Will life be better when I lose weight? What if it is not better? What if it is worse? Will people have certain expectations on me when I will be thin? Have you used your weight as an excuse not to do things and if you lose weight will you feel you will have to do these things? The key is to look at the secondary gain of you being overweight, by that I mean what are you gaining from being overweight? It is easy to answer well nothing, but if you go deeper, you will find an answer. When you are overweight, you do not get attention, you are going to stay in your comfort zone, no one expects anything from you. Just know that you change your weight little by little, so it is not as if tomorrow you are going to be catapulted into an unknown situation. At each stage you will learn to manage it each step. Think about the benefits that you will gain from being your ideal weight and use that to keep you going forwards.
You might also be interested in seeing this video – I’m addicted to chocolate and I want to stop.