Have you ever considered your failure to lose weight may be the result of fear of becoming thin?
Dr Matthew Anderson believes this to be a major hinderance for some people.
He describes this as ‘The Gain-Lose-Gain Again Cycle.’
What does he mean?
The weight loss cycle
He suggests that the weight loss cycle begins when:
- You get sick of being overweight and decide to diet.
- For a while you drop pounds.
- Then without warning you lose control and begin to gain again. You feel possessed by a drive to eat and you cannot stop even though you know you are re-gaining all that weight you worked so hard to lose.
- You hate and blame yourself.
- Eventually you get sick of being overweight and you begin the cycle all over again.
Almost all dietary plans have little or no understanding of this fear.
Unfortunately, I also suspect that most doctors, nutritionists and dietitians are unqualified in such matters.
Dr Anderson states that the situation is not hopeless, however.
So, if you’ve recognized these traits in yourself, what can you do?
Firstly, you need to overcome fear if you identify it, and then confront it with appropriate support.
Here are some of the fears you may have:
- You may feel that, “If I stay obese men will not pursue me and I will be safe.”
- Your self-esteem may be very low and you might actually feel undeserving of weight loss.
- You may believe that losing weight will require you to make other painful choices and changes (divorce, change jobs, lose friends).
- Weight loss may require that you accept more challenges or responsibilities. Staying fat then becomes a form of safety.
- You may fear being seen and therefore judged.
- You may fear the loss of food as a drug and a hiding place from the difficulties of your life.
If you relate to any of these fears, he suggests writing down 25 different answers to the following sentence:
“I am afraid to be thin because…”
By completing this exercise you may discover something about yourself, which you were previously unaware of.
Dr Anderson stresses the important of continuing until you reach 25, as this will push you past the easier, more superficial answers.
He strongly believes that this exercise can help people understand themselves better, and in the end will make weight loss easier.