Weight Loss Support - Lacking motivation to exercise due to fear?

12-20-2008, 12:15 AM
Ok so right now I'm currently taking baby steps on my weightloss journey. I started off with removing a lot of the process garbage from my diet and limiting what I do have of it on occassion. I'm also working on behavior modifications such as not eating out of boredom, or because I'm emotional, etc. Now it would seem the next logical step would be to start working out, except I have no motivation to start, at least emotionally. I know in my head that it will make me feel a whole lot better and that it will speed my weight loss, but I just keep putting it off and saying "Oh, I'll just start (insert timeframe here)." Basically, I think I'm letting myself be held back by my fears that are associated with weight loss because I know as soon as I start working out the weight is going to start coming off faster and I'll be confronted with those fears more openly and on more of a regular basis and I'm not sure if I can deal with that, so perhaps that's why I'm lacking the motivation to exercise to due to fear? Is that possible? And if that is the case, what is the best course of action to confront these fears? Anybody else ever have this problem? I know it may seem like I'm kind of ranting and asking all these questions but this is definitely something that has been bugging me the past few days because I've been sick and I was wondering if I was manifesting my fears as sickness so then I won't have to exercise. I know I'm a mess. :dizzy: Please help!

12-20-2008, 12:32 AM
I did that for a while, too. What helped me was to think of a physical goal I wanted to reach (running at 5 mph for half an hour) and gradually building up to the point where I could do it. But you don't have to do more than you can, or more than is comfortable for you. Intersperse walking and running, if you like. It makes it easier. This applies to things other than running, too, though. It helps to be excited about the exercise itself, or some aspect (maybe some really good music to listen to?).

12-20-2008, 02:46 AM
Most of the times we procrastinate when we don't believe we can be successful in achieving something..we do it when we have set out very big goals and believe we won't achieve them.

Just walk for 5 minutes for next 7 days and see if this discipline makes you feel good...once this becomes comfortable do it for 10 minutes..and you'll see the emotional garbage getting cleared off...exercising is hard..and so is brushing teeth in the morning..or doing laundry or dusting your house..but we do it coz we don't ever think we'll fail...start with 5 minutes and you'll have all motivations......making love to the one you love is again an exercise..it requires physical activity and is somewhat aerobic in nature..so why don't people put it off ..we do it because we associate it with pleasure :)

Associate your daily exercises with pleasure..do what you enjoy doing and I'm sure you'll soon start loving it.

12-20-2008, 02:47 AM
I dont understand why you would be afraid to lose weight? It's good that you have taken these positive steps towards being healthier. Doesn't it feel good? Just remind yourself that working out will feel even better, physically and emotionally. You dont need to start out being a marathon runner. Just do a little at a time. Eventually you might even look forward to exercise. I have found myself "wanting" to work out, which surprised the heck out of me. good luck in your journey ;)

12-20-2008, 05:54 AM
Honestly, for me, there is a part of me that is afraid to lose weight. My body will start to change, men will notice, I lose a "buffer" of security that comes with being obese, etc.

So I can understand how you can feel afraid. what I'm learning to do is just take it one day at a time. Don't think of it like the rest of your life, just focus on today and the stress is sooooo much less that way! :)

12-20-2008, 07:22 AM
Congratulations on the changes you've made thus far.

You must decide which is more fearful for you - living the life of an obese person - or having to deal with some attention. I know that sounds harsh, but that's really what it all boils down to.

Luckily, we don't become "slim" overnight. We get to learn and adjust to it along the way. I think you may be suprised that you can really handle the attention, that you're stronger then you think and that it's waaaaaay better to have to handle that attention, then to remain obese. To remain not living the best life that is possible for you.

Hey, and if you find it's just too much to take, you can always gain the weight back ;). Just kidding. Just kidding. Believe me, that WON'T be the case.

There are always going to be fears with something new, the unknown. Don't let that hold you back.

As far as being motivated, forget about that. Fake it til you make it and all that stuff. You really need to make a commitment to exercise and lose the weight. How do you want to spend your life? Wondering and wishing and hoping to be slim - or being slim with all the incredible benefits that comes with it? :hug:

12-20-2008, 08:46 AM
Well--this is all taking place in your head.

So, you could try a "head game" of not thinking in terms of the dreaded "E" word. Think in terms of "activity," not exercise. Stop putting a big start date on it. "Today I will BEGIN TO EXERCISE." :eek: This may be making too big a deal out of it. You're not planning a trip up Everest... ;)

Go outside or to the mall if things are icy, and walk for 30 minutes. 15 minutes up, 15 minutes back. There, you're done. How's that for baby steps?


12-20-2008, 12:33 PM
Thanks ladies for all the support and perspectives. I think I should maybe clarify that it's not the unknown for me that is scary because what I'm afraid of is something I've already dealt with. And you know what, I'll just be brave and come right out and say it: I'm afraid do deal with men! As crazy as it sounds but I had gone through a really tough time with an ex and then all the men following him that just threw me for a loop and I couldn't tell you which was up. And all of that happened in conjunction with hormonal changes that became imbalances that cause me to gain huge amounts of weight and it just went to reinforce my feeling of needing a buffer I guess. I have to say I'm very proud of all the other emotional baggage I let go associated with my weight but this seems to be the last thing because I think it's so much more daunting because it always seems to be in your face as a slim and attractive woman. I guess it seems extra scary for me because people always tell me what a pretty face I have and I guess that it would be like OMG what if I have the body to go with it whats going to happen then? :eek:

But you guys make excellent points, especially you rockinrobin I have to decide which is scarier and it's definitely living my life overweight and getting sick young (I'm only 23 and already have insulin resistance due to PCOS) and missing out on life. I guess my eyes have opened up to what is really possible in life and I don't want to continue missing out on it. However, I'm having so much trouble working through this fear of men and the attention and all that jazz as it pertains to weightloss. It's probably even harder because it seems to be the last hurdle I have emotionally to get over and then I won't have any blocks to my weightloss and that's terrifying.

As for baby steps and just starting with "activity" I guess you could say I've already done that without actually knowing I did. I guess it's getting myself up to the next level to real exercise that seems daunting. I'll get there though, with the help of all you fabulous ladies. I signed up for one of the challenges in the 20-something forum that has an activity component to it so that maybe the kick in the butt I need and thankfully it doesn't start until after new years so then maybe I'll have my head on my shoulders a little straighter. :spin:

12-20-2008, 12:47 PM
Overintellectualization is a form of procrastination. Just do it. It really is that simple. And don't let "what ifs" run your life for you. Do what's right for you. Don't give anyone or anything else power over your future.

12-20-2008, 11:13 PM
Overintellectualization is a form of procrastination. Just do it. It really is that simple. And don't let "what ifs" run your life for you. Do what's right for you. Don't give anyone or anything else power over your future.

Wow Midwife, that was very Jillian Michaels-esque of you to say. I'll be honest, when I first read it, it was like a kick in the gut to read those words, but that's what a good butt kicking is like in the beginning. And then I thought on it and you're really right in what you said, and you put your message very succinctly and didn't sugar coat it. So thank you for that. But in some ways its kind of a platitude because I an struggling with this and I'm not sure if just diving into it exercise without dealing with these fears is going to work in the long run. Or do you think if I just stop thinking about it and move on with exercising, etc, that'll these fears will dissipate due to the exercise and that'll be my way of working through it? I'm also just afraid that if I don't deal with this problem like I did my fears that I'll end up regaining the weight like I did other times in my life especially since I've learned you have to deal with a lot of the emotional stuff to really have lasting effects. But I do appreciate your perspective and will definitely take into consideration more of your advice as it comes! :)

12-20-2008, 11:26 PM
Oh, gosh, gym, I didn't mean to cause you distress. I probably should have said that overintellectualization CAN be a form of procrastination. It certainly has been for me in many areas of my life.

I ponder, worry, plan, contemplate, analyze, list, journal, prioritize, and so forth until I am blue in the face....and all of those processes rarely equal results. I'm certain that planning and contemplating can be important (pre-contemplation is the first step of change after all), but I know that for me, and I sense for others on 3FC as well, all of the knowing and considering and worrying can actually be a barrier to action.

I changed my user avatar statement to read "Persist. Believe." earlier this week cause I have been considering this theme in my own life. Action = results, and sometimes the persistence (and the "one foot in front of the other") really does take priority over the mental considerations. So for me, Persist first, belief after. It's a little backwards from the usual theme of "visualize success, and then success will follow." The hard work is coming first for me these days.

Do we get bogged down in worry, analysis, solving the "whys" of our obesity battle? At the heart of obesity is biology, and our actions affect our health....Not to underestimate the importance of having our heads in the right place, but I wonder if we elevate the importance of the mental game a bit too much....

All of this to say, my goal was not to give you a platitude, and I'm not sure who Jillian Michaels is. Again, I didn't mean to cause you distress, and I apologize. I'm sure my post has a lot more to do with where I am at on the journey and I did mean it to be helpful. I wish you the best as you sort this out.

12-20-2008, 11:38 PM
Aw don't worry Midwife. I didn't mean to sound like it distressed me at all. It was more kind of a wake up call and the way you put what you said you didn't sugar coat it like I said and I think a lot of people on here walk on eggshells so to speak when they say something out of fear of offending someone. I am not so easily offended so it doesn't bother me, but I was taken a little aback because I haven't seen anybody put things so bluntly on here before. But like I said I do appreciate that quality immensely. And I do see where you're coming from and I understand now why you said what you said and it makes perfectly good logic.

And Jillian Michaels is the trainer from the biggest loser. If you google her you'll find all kinds of info on her. She's amazing and my idol. So it was a compliment when I said what you said was very Jillian Michaels-esque haha :)

12-21-2008, 02:59 AM
The first step is always the hardest. After that first exercise session, you will feel stronger mentally and emotionally. Exercise is exactly what you need to help you through all of this whatever it may be...overintellectuallization or fear. Exercise is a powerful antidepressant and anti-anxiety reliever.

And I understand where you are coming from. I think I actually gained 20 pounds back just because a guy was too impressed by my weightloss. It was a painful slap in the face that my physical appearance got me more attention than my mind or personaility. Sounds kind of crazy now that I write it, but true.

Anyway, you need to do what is good for you. Take your power back and be the best you can be for you.

12-21-2008, 03:53 AM
One thing I'm learning as I get older is to not let fear keep me from living my life. It's no way to live. I think you'll learn to deal with this as you lose weight, like others have said, it doesn't come off fast. You'll have time to adjust. Trust yourself that you are strong enough to handle it.

12-21-2008, 08:06 AM
Hey gymlee, are you exercising yet, or are you still thinking about it?

I like the saying SusanB has in her signature line:

"You can stick with that story all the way to 300 lbs if it means that much to you."

You will never know whether your fears will go away or not unless you start. Until then it's all speculation. At the end of the day you can have made progress or you can be right where you started at the beginning--or worse. It's up to you. Your body is quite happy to let you sit in a chair and think about it. The fat doesn't care.


12-21-2008, 08:09 AM
gymlee, when I first saw Midwife's "blunt" post, I gotta tell you, I thought it was brilliant, as I think many things she says is. And it hit home for me in many areas of my life. Without a doubt some of us tend to spend too much precious time overthinking things waaaay too much, when action is what is required. You think and you ponder and you wonder and you doubt and you question and what you're basically doing - is putting it off. Delaying.

Anyway, that being said, many people use their weight as a barrier between themselves and men and even from the same sex. I know I did for many, many years. It's not a solution. Not a good one anyway.

I'm telling you losing the weight for me, finding the strength that was needed to do so, has given me the belief and the confidence that I've got the strength to deal with many, many non-weight related things.

I also know that losing the weight has made me gain two very big "things" - I've discovered self-esteem and most importantly self-respect. Getting and remaining so heavy completely wiped out my own self esteem and yes, my own self respect as well. Not good things to be lacking in life if you want to have a productive one. Having gained that self respect and that self esteem - you will see your choices and your feelings about everything will change and be better. You will handle things differently.

Losing the weight has without a doubt made me a stronger, wiser, more confident, smarter and more capable woman.

And I know it will do the same for you. I just know it. :hug:

12-21-2008, 11:22 AM

You know you have issues about your relationships with men and that you use fat as a way of hiding/avoiding them. That is a huge first step. Maybe another big step is to get some therapy or counseling around this.

I went into therapy several years ago. I told my therapist that I thought that I was using food to avoid some issues, and that I wanted to address the issues not talk about food, diet or eating. She was able to help me identify patterns and issues, we have worked together on addressing them.

My life as a whole is better now, and losing weight has been much easier. My therapist and I now talk about my weight and weight loss (including 3fc). Therapy is hard and scary, but can really help.

In school I learned that all behavior can be seen as functional, it always starts as the response or solution to a problem. Sometimes the problem disappears and the behavior lingers on. Also, the solution we come up with (gaining weight to avoid issues with relationships) may not be the best, most effective, or healthiest...and may have significant other consequences. Eating and being fat is an excellent example. It works to some extent, you are able to avoid many of the issues with men because you are less attractive. (Although many here would tell you that some men don't care or will be attracted. My hunch is that you feel so unattractive that you send the message to guys which is a far more effective turnoff.) The negative consequence is that you feel lousy about yourself and have physical damage to your body.

The truth is that "just do it" is great advice, but so is addressing the underlying issues that got you there and may keep you there...or come out in other negative ways.


12-21-2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks ladies! You all have some excellent points and perspectives! I think sometimes I forget that this is a process and it won't happen overnight so I'll have time to adjust to the mounting attention. I think I also forget that I do have a voice and can mitigate some of the attention just by using it! That also goes hand in hand with the self-respect. If I respect myself and feel better about myself that will translate into how I come off to people and I will demand that respect and people will treat me the way I want to be treated. It's strange because I have always known this but I've never actually put it into practice for myself. Now just might be the time to do that along with the exercise component .

As for dealing with the fear, you're absolutely right Jay, it's all speculation until I start. One way to know for sure is to start exercising and go from there. I just may have to go in my little box and dust off a trait I haven't used in a while that used to be such a constant for me in my days of competitive gymnastics which was basically feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I had forgotten all about it until I looked down at my foot the other day- I have the quote "Feel the fear, do it anyway" tattooed on my foot- and I just might have to do it with this. I mean if I could battle through the fear of doing a vault that I broke my ankle on or doing the skill again that I chipped a piece of bone off in my elbow in and nearly broke my neck doing, I can manage to start exercising even though I'm afraid of what kind of attention it might mean. I can't believe I sat in this fear for so long without realizing this and making this comparison because now it just seems silly to me.

Pandora, I've been to therapy before which is how I learned to deal with and release the other fears and issues I had. Right now I'm in a weird place with finances and health insurance (I'm about to be off my moms health insurance) so once I get my own or I get a better job to support going to therapy I have every intention of starting back up again but it's kind of hard when you only make a little over minimum wage :(

I greatly appreciate all the support ladies and even though I've had kind of an "ah-ha" moment with this thread I know I'm still going to need the support once I get going in full swing after I recover from this tonsilitis bug I'm fighting. I'm going to try and manage some light activity til then. Please continue the support!

12-24-2008, 11:09 AM
This is a great thread.

Gymlee, I can totally relate to what you are saying. I don't worry about attention from men, but I have other issues about attention that create a lot of anxiety for me. Also, I am afraid of exercise itself. I know that sounds crazy, but when I get to a certain point of pushing myself, I start to panic.

All that to say, I think I can relate to what you're going through, but here's what we're saying if we stay fat: "I am willing to jeopardize my own health in order to avoid _______." So not worth it. I am done fooling around, the problems I have relating to attention will have to be tackled as I come to them. We CAN deal with whatever problems being a normal size brings us. WE CAN!

I hear you saying you need a buffer from these men. There are other ways to buffer once you start getting attention. I had a friend who lost a lot of weight and when she didn't want to deal with attention she wore some of her old fat clothes. Wear a wedding ring, bring a male friend places you might get attention, I'm sure you'll be able to think of some other way that doesn't jeopardize your health.

Let us know how it's going.

12-26-2008, 12:53 AM
Thanks thinpossible! I've definitely taken into consideration a lot of those things too. I'm starting to realize that I am strong enough and I can deal with whatever may come because I'm 23 and have enough help problems. I don't need anymore. I have definitely thought about getting a wedding/ engagement looking ring and wearing it but what's going to happen when I actually find a guy worth while? haha It'll be weird to explain. That and some guys don't care if you're "married/engaged" because they'll just hit on you anyway haha

As for getting to exercise, I sadly haven't gotten there yet. I've been not doing well health wise and I'm beginning to think it may not be a tonsilitis thing at all but a relapse of mono due to the extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fevers, lack of appetite, etc. It sucks but when I get to feeling better I'm def going to become more active. Now I'm lucky I get out to walk the dogs! haha :spin: