If asked if they are afraid of losing weight, most people would laugh at such a ludicrous suggestion, and respond that they are desperate to shed their excess pounds. However it is not quite as ludicrous as it sounds. A lot of people find shedding weight difficult because they are subconsciously scared of losing it. They are not even aware that they have this fear, but the subconscious mind is a very powerful thing and could be sabotaging their weight loss goals without them even being aware of it. So, what could make someone afraid of losing weight?
Often, the fear is not about actually physically losing the weight, but more about the possible implications of the weight loss. For example, you may subconsciously fear that your friends will feel threatened by the new you, or that your partner may feel less attracted towards you or even that they could think you might start to look for another partner. You can help to resolve this by talking to them about your weight loss intentions and reassuring them that you will still be the same person, and will still fulfill the same role in their lives.
Some people may also fear a loss of identity. You might have invested a lot of years into building up a persona of the ‘jolly fat person’ and you could have a fear of suddenly losing your identity along with the weight. You need to realize that this persona is not you, or who you really want to be. Get to know yourself, your hopes, dreams and ambitions, and start to build a persona based upon who you really are, not who you think you should be.
Sometimes if a person has been sexually abused, they may be subconsciously driven to make themselves unattractive (as they perceive it), so that the abuse is unlikely to happen again. By putting on weight, the fat acts as a kind of barrier against the world. If you think that this might be you, consider having some sessions with a counselor to ensure that you have properly worked through any feelings associated with the abuse. If you can’t face the thoughts of counseling, maybe you could confide in a trusted friend or family member? Once you are able to come to terms with what happened you should find that your subconscious mind no longer feels the need to hold onto the excess weight.
Write down all the negative things which come into your mind when you consider losing weight. This could be anything from having to give up socializing because you don’t think you will be able to eat out any more to giving up your favorite foods and treats. Once you have these in writing, work through them and turn them into positives; for example, instead of having to give up socializing, could you organize a walk or group cycle ride instead of a meal out? Instead of focusing on the foods you can’t eat, get creative and make some delicious recipes using the foods you can. Try writing down some positive affirmations, such as ‘I feel so much healthier’ and ‘I feel so much more confident!’
If you think that you may be subconsciously afraid of losing weight, or the thought of losing it makes you feel anxious in any way, identifying and working through your fears should help you to dissolve them and look forward to the new slim you.