Losing weight can be scary. The same reasons you may have gained weight may be the same reasons you are scared to lose weight. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that it isn’t particularly easy. You may fear that you won’t be able to lose the weight or that you don’t deserve to lose the weight.
The Psychology of Weight Loss
Losing weight can be an overwhelmingly emotional process even before it begins, as body image is closely tied to self-confidence. It can a psychological process, as individuals analyze what made them gain weight in the first place. This analysis forces individuals to consider what is holding them back: their fears. Delving into your fears can be emotional.
Individuals may fear what they will look like when they lose weight and how they will feel. They may worry about having loose skin or scars. Not knowing is uncomfortable, and people don’t always deal with discomfort well. They may feel as if it’s easier to stay the same, even if they aren’t living a healthy lifestyle. Change is scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
You’ve seen it happen countless times when an overweight celebrity loses a significant amount of weight. They receive harsh criticism from some, while others who never liked them before praise them. Whether we always realize it or not, we fit into a specific role in friendships based on our appearance and sense of self. If that changes based on weight loss, it can cause some to fear losing weight in the first place. Just as individuals fear the unknown because it causes discomfort, individuals may fear weight loss because it will cause them to step outside of their comfort zone to embrace new experiences, like dating. Holding onto excess weight can feel like a protective barrier, and losing weight can welcome unwanted attention for women.
While many fear they won’t be able to lose weight, or at the very least, maintain the weight loss, others fear that losing weight won’t provide them with the outcome they so desire. How many times have you heard someone say that they’ll be happy once they lose weight or that they’ll go after that promotion once they lose weight? This puts a lot of pressure on weight loss. People may fear that, even if they do lose a significant amount of weight, they still won’t be happy. That’s enough to make many people not even start the weight-loss journey.
Overcoming your Fear
Before you start your weight-loss journey, take stock of your fears. What is holding you back? Keep a journal with a list of your fears, and monitor your feelings to help uncover some unconscious (and potentially unhealthy) habits.
Weight-loss goals are great, but start with small, attainable goals. A huge goal can be intimidating, to the point where you may be too scared to even start. Think of small goals as small steps that will go far in a long journey. This will also help you make long-term goals. Far too often people lose weight, but don’t think about maintaining weight loss. They may search for a quick fix, rather than establishing long-term healthy habits.
Finding a support system can help you overcome your fears as well. Learn more about finding a support system and how it can benefit you: https://www.lapband.com/the-importance-of-a-weight-loss-support-system/