Week 1: The fear of being slim

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Welcome to Week 1 of our journey from Resistance to Resilience! We start at the end.

Meaning: chances are that you have tried many times before to lose a significant amount of weight, only to regain it all again, and then some. It’s a very familiar story and why there has been such an out-cry over recent years that “diets don’t work!” This never sat well with me because diets actually do work, what doesn’t work is stopping our efforts and returning to the familiar habits that make us eat more than our bodies need and thus gain weight.

Now when I say this I am not talking about dangerous fad diets or anything that requires extreme calorie restriction or the consumption of limited food groups. I am talking about food and lifestyle plans that are reasonable and healthy, yet we’re unable to stick to them.

While the all-or-nothing diet mentality can cause a lot of havoc with our psychological well-being I don’t believe that blaming diets is the solution, either. We still have a responsibility in all of this and when I say this I don’t mean that we just need more willpower, what I mean is that what we eat and how we treat our bodies is absolutely within our control.

Which brings me to the real question:

What are we so afraid of?

We say we want to be slim and healthy but there might actually be reasons why we are afraid of exactly that. When I saw this list of reasons in a book written by a German therapist on the subject of weight loss, it suddenly made so much sense to me.

This is exactly where our resistance comes in. The sole purpose of resistance is to keep us safe. Even though that sense of safety is often irrational and not actually protecting us.

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Week 1 Prompt: Identify & Journal Your Reasons

We will be doing a lot of journaling during this program and I want to encourage you to get yourself a nice blank notebook just for this program. I love using Leuchtturm journals but anything goes of course.

For this first week I would like us to have a look at this list and see if there is anything that resonates? There will be a lot of things that don’t but have a look through it anyway. And if nothing speaks to you write down the question in your journal and then see what comes up for you. In case you’re curious, I resonate deeply with No. 4 and 19.

I have not lost weight in the past, or not kept it off and put it all back on, and then some, because …

  1. I want to prove to others that they cannot control me.

  2. I need my weight to get prove of my partner’s love (if he really loves me then he will accept me as I am).

  3. Others will leave me if I have a beautiful body.

  4. Apart from my weight my life is good. If I lose the weight then life is too ‘perfect’ and something bad will happen.

  5. I don’t know what to do with all that time and energy that I would have if I did not spend it on food and eating.

  6. I don’t have the money to buy a new wardrobe.

  7. I fear that I may jeopardise my relationship by feeling sexually attractive and being tempted to become unfaithful to my partner.

  8. Men may view me as a sex object.

  9. If I can no longer blame my weight then I have no more excuses for failures in my job or relationship.

  10. Then I can no longer excuse rejection by others with my obesity.

  11. I can punish and hurt others with my weight.

  12. I want to show others that it really isn’t as easy to lose weight as they say it should be.

  13. My weight gives me a sense of security and protection.

  14. Then I don’t need to compete with other women/men.

  15. My weight gives me the status of a person not to be overlooked.

  16. I want to be like …. (my positive role model).

  17. I never want to be like …. (my negative role model).

  18. My weight gives me an excuse not to interact socially.

  19. I will stay healthy if I eat a lot (as long as I can eat lots I don’t have cancer).

  20. I can avoid unpleasant jobs and situations when I am eating.

  21. I do not have to deal with other unpleasant personal issues and feelings as long as my main focus and concern is with my weight.