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?
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! :-)
__________________ Plan the work...then work the plan!
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.
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.
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...
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
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?