Weight Loss Support - Afraid to be thin




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glitterducky
04-09-2009, 12:27 PM
This sounds weird but I think I have some phobia of being thin. It's the unknown for me, something that I have never done, except for once when I was kind of slim. I noticed that each time I see the scale go down a pound or two, it makes me want to binge and gain it all back. I've been good thus far, but it still triggers a fear.

Why am I so afriad to be thin? Why is it that after all of my hard work working out and staying on plan, and I see scale results... that this isn't exciting for me?? :?: I look at the scale and think OHHH I'm down a pound or two. :) And then it goes into... Now what? This feels wrong. I lost a pound or two. :(

I don't know. Does anyone else get this "fear" of the scale going down?


miles2go
04-09-2009, 12:33 PM
Some of us hide behind our fat -- we use it as an excuse to do, or not do, many things. Perhaps by losing the weight, you feel more "exposed", for lack of a better word. I'm sure there are many who feel the same way, and many better qualified than I am to address your concerns. Losing the weight does force us to look at ourselves in a different way. I hope this feeling is short-lived for you because it looks like you're doing very, VERY well! Be proud of your accomplishments and for the short term, at least, focus on the benefits to your health and other positives. Good luck with it all and keep up the great work...I hope I can shed 20lbs too! :-)

thinpossible
04-09-2009, 12:38 PM
I can't lose more than ten pounds without gaining it back. I'm determined to do it this time though. Part of my problem is that I was choosing plans that I couldn't stick to forever, even though they were healthy. I also have a fear of exercise, which doesn't help the weight loss. If my heart rate gets too high, I start to panic.

I am scared to be thin. I perceive thin as a lot more vulnerable, no layer of fat to protect me and make me invisible. I dread any kind of attention-- even positive-- that will be focused on me when I lose the weight. But I'm absolutely determined to do it, no matter how I feel, because those problems are a lot easier to deal with than the negative health consequences I'm going to bring on myself if I don't lose the weight.


Athenawithheart
04-09-2009, 12:40 PM
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

I could NOT get below 190 for a long, long time - more than a decade. It was like in my head that's what I defined "thin" as. I got close a number of times, and then I'd freak out, binge and quickly gain weight. Deep down, I was just SO SCARED to let go of the weight. And I just could not do it.

I came up with a visualization this time that I used to meditate to. Also, this time, for reasons beyond my control, I did not have a scale to weigh on at home for a month. So I could not obsess about it.

Anyway, here's the visualization:

Imagine you are in a boat sitting on a lake. Behind you, you can see many thunderstorms and clouds. It is a dark, gloomy place. Where you are at is better than that place, but it's still kinda cold, and dark and the trees are bare.

Ahead there is a giant waterfall. It is very scary because you cannot see past the waterfall. You have watched other boats go through the waterfall and the people in them encouraged you to come through. But you don't know if you'll be safe on the other side.

And when you try to get close to the waterfall, it becomes hard and a current pushes you away. And you get scared and just go back to what you know.

But one day you paddle really, really hard. You push and push and push until you're THROUGH the waterfall!

And on the other side, it is beautiful!

It is a pristine blue lake with a gorgeous blue sky with a warm sun shining above. There are birds singing and deer drinking the water. The grass is green. It is so peaceful and wonderful here, and a feeling of total calm washes over you.

Now you know that what is on the other side was not so scary after all, but just something you didn't know you could do. And you cannot go back now that you are here, and you will keep going.

We are all here with you, telling you to come to this side of the waterfall. You CAN do it. Focus on making healthy choices today, and do not think about what will happen tomorrow.

Devsmama
04-09-2009, 12:55 PM
What Miles said is how I feel. The more weight I lose, the more exposed I feel. But I'm dealing with those issues that I ate. I should have done something about them then and I wouldn't have eaten emotionally, but I am doing something about them now...Let the scale go down and don't be afraid to be "naked" in front of people...

Athena-u rock sistah!!

thinpossible
04-09-2009, 01:08 PM
Athenawithheart-- that's a terrific meditation. I'm trying to look for a job after being a stay at home mom for 10 years, and I think that meditation will help me with my fear dealing with that too. Thanks

Ija
04-09-2009, 01:15 PM
I have a general fear of the unknown, and having never been a normal weight (even as a small child), thinness was uncharted territory. In my case, though, I wasn't nearly as afraid of being noticed as I was of leaving my old life behind. When your obesity is such a strong defining characteristic, losing weight changes who you are whether you want it to or not. Or at least it changes how other people perceive you, and that's scary.

Despite my fear, I pushed through because my life literally depended on it. I was experiencing health problems that I knew would kill me someday if I didn't do something about my my weight. Fear or no fear, I felt I had no other option. So I lost the weight...

As expected, I get treated differently now, and so many things in my life have changed. But 99% of those changes have been for the better. I feel more comfortable with myself, I'm less self-conscious, more confident... I don't think about my weight every moment of every day. When I was heavy, my obesity consumed all of my thoughts; I couldn't escape it. But it doesn't haunt me anymore. I no longer worry about whether or not I'll fit comfortably in the plane seat, or if I'll find something suitable to wear for the wedding. I don't hide from cameras, and I don't worry about being seen and feeling ashamed. And of course, these benefits are in addition to gaining physical health (and adding years to my life!) This is really the greatest thing I've ever done.

Don't let your fears keep you from achieving your goals... this is your life! Live it to the fullest!

mamaspank
04-09-2009, 01:22 PM
I think maybe part of the reason you're scared may be because of all the responsibilities that go along with losing weight and then maintaining. I was more afraid to maintain than I was to lose weight. Losing weight is, I think, the best part. I felt like I had a clear sense of purpose and a very clear cut responsibility. As I near my goal weight, I fear that giving myself a little more freedom is going to make me go on some crazy binge. So I don't know if that is maybe what is holding you back, but please don't let it.

funniegrrl
04-09-2009, 01:43 PM
I felt the same way -- terrified, in fact. I had no idea how to live my life as a person of normal weight since I'd never been a person of normal weight. It's scary to lose your food and lack-of-exercise lifestyle, it's scary to lose your fat, it's scary to be in the world in a way you've never been before. Living in a healthy way and being thinner will expose all kinds of issues and problems you may not even know exist. Just pledge to deal with the issues that rise up in an honest, positive way. Keep your sense of humor, it's a huge help!

beautifulone
04-09-2009, 02:48 PM
I'm so glad you started this thread! I've felt scared too, and am in the process of finding out why I feel scared. I can relate to Drina's comment about being scared or uncomfortable with the unknown. I think that has a lot to do with my fear/discomfort. I don't know if there is really any other way of getting through this except actually getting through it. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway :)

I also wonder whether my weight protects me on an emotional level in terms of the emotions and energies I pick up from the people and environment around me. That if I am small, I will have no protection encompassing me, and I will be exposed and blasted with the energy of wherever I am and whoever I am around.

Athena, that is an AMAZING visualization!!!! Thank you for sharing! :D

Midnight Heart
04-09-2009, 03:09 PM
Thank you for sharing the visualization! :)

I've lived with the fear for 7 years, I gained alot of weight during cancer treatments and programmed my mind to think as long as I wasn't losing weight the cancer hadn't 'GOT' me. Now I'm 7 years in remission and my mind is thinking I need to be healthy or my risk of recurrance is higher and I have only just realized my initial fear and now want to change and lose the wieght I gained.

ringmaster
04-09-2009, 03:59 PM
I feel that way. Like the other posters said, the attention, nothing to hide behind. People do usually treat thinner people differently also.

And then another part of me is scared, what if I do lose the weight, but nothing changes? We are just assuming things will be different, but maybe they won't be. The fear of failing in other areas of my life. I think when I'm thin and fit I'll be able to do all these things I've put off, but maybe I will still be too scared to move out of my comfort zone?

glitterducky
04-09-2009, 04:19 PM
This is why I love this board. Everyone is so supportive!! Thanks you guys :)

Thighs Be Gone
04-09-2009, 04:29 PM
glitterducky--come on, Girl--I am waiting for you! :) You can do this thing and we will all party when it happens!

glitterducky
04-09-2009, 05:43 PM
Party party party! No need to be afraid, right?

Thighs Be Gone
04-09-2009, 06:02 PM
No way! You have such a treat ahead of you and it's way better than any brownie or pizza!

losermom
04-10-2009, 09:47 AM
I have read and heard that the fear of losing or resistance to losing weight can be the result of childhood sexual abuse, of which I am a survivor. That we "arm" ourselves with weight to appear unattractive to others/abusers. I've worked really hard to convince myself that I am old/strong enough to fend off any unwanted advances. It helps that most men think I'm too old anyway--46. But I feel like I'm 28 inside. Sorry about being such a downer!

Liliann
04-10-2009, 02:05 PM
Oh Yes,fear/boredum is my issue like everyone. The lowest weight I was in was a large weighing at 270s back in 1980s. Gained it back..I don't want to be model thin..just comfortable and healthy is my goal now.

Good luck with your efforts!

Ookpik
04-13-2009, 08:39 PM
I can relate...I think I've always been afraid of male attention, I'm not sure why. I think maybe b/c when I was growing up, I was tormented mercilessly by boys who made me feel ugly b/c I was fat, who convinced me I'd never find a man attracted to me. This was sort of the case, I didn't have much experience with men as I got older, but when I did, it was with guys I should have stayed away from - drug addicts, etc - I guess b/c I didn't think I could get any better, or deserved any better. I used my weight as a shield, and I didn't explore attractions with decent guys because I didn't think I'd get them anyway, because of my weight.

Now I'm much smaller, still not to my goal, and still single! However, I do notice a lot more men who seem attracted, but I'm not in any rush to get into a relationship, I still think I have man-issues I need to work on.

ringmaster
04-13-2009, 09:06 PM
I can relate...I think I've always been afraid of male attention, I'm not sure why. I think maybe b/c when I was growing up, I was tormented mercilessly by boys who made me feel ugly b/c I was fat, who convinced me I'd never find a man attracted to me. This was sort of the case, I didn't have much experience with men as I got older, but when I did, it was with guys I should have stayed away from - drug addicts, etc - I guess b/c I didn't think I could get any better, or deserved any better. I used my weight as a shield, and I didn't explore attractions with decent guys because I didn't think I'd get them anyway, because of my weight.

Now I'm much smaller, still not to my goal, and still single! However, I do notice a lot more men who seem attracted, but I'm not in any rush to get into a relationship, I still think I have man-issues I need to work on.


Sounds exactly what I've been through. I'm still thinking that way. Guess it's better to focus on myself getting healthy and fit before dating again so I have confidence to leave when something isn't good and not be scared and run and hide behind my weight when a good guy does come along.

rockinrobin
04-13-2009, 09:06 PM
I definitely used my weight to keep people away from me. Men, for sure (yup, a survivor of childhood molestation) and the more I think about it - women too. Losing the weight would definitely expose me to men and I was frightened by it.

But then it got to be too hard to stay so heavy. I was so miserable. I was missing out on so very much. So very, very much. I figured dealing with men - PEOPLE - had to at this point be easier then being morbidly obese. And I am no longer that little kid. It came to the point where I was more frightened to keep the weight on - then to take it off and yes, expose myself.

Using weight as an armor or a barrier is NOT the right solution. It causes waaaay too many problems, much more then it "solves".

Having lost the weight, I can tell you - it was the right decision. Yes, I certainly have gotten the attention of men now. But I am older and I am wiser and I do know how to handle it and myself better. HAving lost the weight - having accomplished this huge feat - well it's given my mucho, mucho confidence. It's made me stronger and I can handle way more then I ever would have imagined.

DON"T LET YOUR FEARS HOLD YOU BACK FROM LEADING THE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE LIFE. Anticipation of something *maybe* happening is way worse then the actual occurence.

:hug::hug::hug:

KnitALisa
04-13-2009, 11:31 PM
Another survivor of sexual assault here. Personally, I hate thinking that, even on a subconscious level, my attacker had anything to do with my weight gain (even though it probably did). I just don't want to give him any power to affect me.

I think the bigger part of my fear comes from losing this oh-so-convenient excuse to NOT live my life. Right now, I can blame the fact that I'm single on the fat ("It's not that boys don't like me; they're just superficial.") rather than take a risk and put myself out there. I can give myself an excuse not to try something ("Fat people can't go dance at the club with their skinny friends. You'll look like a fool") even when it's something I know I'd love (Reality check: My friends like me and invited me cause they enjoy my company.).

Worse, my fear of losing translates into a doubt that I can lose the weight. I can't visualize what I'll look like or what I'll feel like because my fear keeps me from believing that I'll ever be there. I think that's the biggest reason I've come back to 3FC after a long hiatus. By seeing other peoples' success, I can start to visualize my own and believe in myself.


DON"T LET YOUR FEARS HOLD YOU BACK FROM LEADING THE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE LIFE.Too true!

tkm256
04-14-2009, 12:55 AM
In addition to what others have said (wanting to remain unnoticed, having the responsibility of not gaining it back for the world to laugh, etc.), it may also be that we're afraid of it not being as great as we thought it would be. We put so much effort and sweat into losing the weight, presumably because it's worth it, but there's always that nagging thought that maybe what you're giving up is better than what you'll be getting.

I think, sometimes, all these dreams we have of what we'll do when we're thin, what we'll wear when we're thin, how we'll talk to that boy or go to the beach or look dazzling in photos when we're thin puts enormous pressure on us to find happiness and perfection when we achieve it. But we get going on our way to thinness, and halfway there think "Gee, this really isn't that different from before" and subconsciously lose faith. In short, we tend to blame weight for problems that have nothing to do with it, so when losing the weight doesn't fix the problems we give up.

rockinrobin
04-14-2009, 07:11 AM
it may also be that we're afraid of it not being as great as we thought it would be. We put so much effort and sweat into losing the weight, presumably because it's worth it, but there's always that nagging thought that maybe what you're giving up is better than what you'll be getting.
.

Be afraid NOT to. Be afraid NOT to lose the weight.

The world will not become perfect having lost the weight. But everything and anything is EASIER to deal with without having the added burden of being overweight/obese/morbidly obese on your shoulders. You have got to believe this and KNOW this.

It is worth it! It is worth it by a million times. What you get in return for what you are giving up is immeasurable. I and many people here have hindsight on their side and please believe me (us) when we tell you - it's worth it. It's WORTH it. BIG TIME.

Devsmama
04-14-2009, 10:01 AM
There are so many interesting things here that I can't quote them all. I agree with all of it or at least I have experienced most of it. And the fear is the same, but like rockinrobin said, the weight is too much to bare anymore. It's just too much. I want to be healthy more than I am afraid. I'm done letting the fear of the unknown control me. And as ringmaster said, the confidence to leave..that's my issue, the confidence to leave and use wisdom to discern what's real and what isn't. I'm working on it. As I work on my confidence and weight together, I know things will be so much better for me....Fear cannot control me anymore.

Mikayla
04-14-2009, 11:46 PM
When talking about fear and losing weight 2 events from my childhood come to mind.

One was when I was about 10 I had a bad day at school and I came home crying because I didn't have any friends(That wasn't true I just had a terrible day) My mom suggested I try to lose weight then more people would like me.

The 2nd event I was about 13 and on a family vacation, during a casual conversation with my Uncle he suggested I lose weight before high school because "Boys won't like you if you are fat."

Being overweight and being told from a young age that "people won't like you if you are fat" has kinda taught that the people in my life that DO enjoy my company like me for me, people that don't like must be superficial.

Being overweight all my life, my self esteem has really taken a hit. The sheer thought that people actually treat thin people differently bothers me.

But thin people DO get treated differently and the reality is right now I don't get approached by people very often and I don't put myself out there. I've gone so long not putting myself out there the thought of being approached by people is terrifying to me.