Friday, July 6, 2012

What do you want to lose?


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO LOSE?

“I need to lose 10/20/50/100 pounds.”
“These thighs have got to go.”
“I can’t wait to get rid of this flab.”

People often think that when they lose weight, their lives will improve, and they will be more confident, outgoing, and relaxed.   If this sounds familiar, you may unconsciously believe that by controlling the number on the scale, you can manage many aspects of your life, including your likeability .

When weight symbolically represents the qualities you want to get rid of – such as shyness, insecurity, anxiety, etc. – losing weight becomes equivalent to losing those unacceptable “parts” of yourself. 

It’s easier to focus on losing weight than think about shedding disappointments, fears, concerns, worries, and anxieties.

What are the “bad” parts of yourself that you want to get rid of?


What do you imagine will be different if you are at a different weight?


How will losing weight change you as a person?


For example:  “I think the worst part about me is that I’m insecure.  I imagine that I’ll be more confident when I lose weight.  I’ll be more social and have more friends.”

Losing weight might cause people to feel more confident temporarily, but the insecurity usually shifts to something else – such as whether they’re smart enough.  Whereas they once worried about the size of their stomachs, they now are concerned with the size of their intellect.  Therefore it’s crucial to address the underlying sense of insecurity.

What qualities about yourself (not physical characteristics) do you think you need to get rid of?   Why?  

How did you come to believe those qualities are unacceptable?

When you can accept yourself - the qualities you like and those you wish were different - you are less likely to displace this  characteristics onto weight.



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Legal Disclaimer:  The content on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not intended as psychotherapy or as a substitute for psychotherapy advice, diagnosis or treatment.


23 comments:

Brenda said...

I agree with the above about underlying insecurities that have nothing to do with weight. I've been overweight and I've been at my ideal weight. Either way, it's still the same old B.S. when trying to find a date. Even while thin I attracted to men who seemed to feed off insecurities I try to hide-that is simple of not being good enough.

Karen said...

This makes perfect sense to me. We have to feel better about ourselves regardless of our weight. Then, when our weight is gone we can enjoy it more because we have also dealt with how we feel about ourselves.

Julie Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevor said...

This is why I like the weight training I am in now. It focuses on self-esteem issues and even past family problems, not just losing weight. It makes sense.

Brad said...

That's excellent, Trevor. That's the kind of program that I need-one that focuses not only on weight loss but self-esteem. I myself often transfer my self-esteem issues from whether or not I feel attractive to whether or not I am financially secure enough.

Stephanie said...

I have experienced weight loss to a considerable degree of success. I can attest to the fact that my insecurities of myself didn't disappear immediately along with the weight.

Anonymous said...

I have been on yo yo diets..losing weight and feeling great, then something happens in my life and I eat..gaining all my weight back..and through the years more. I hate myself because I do this and I hate looking at myself. I don't go anywhere anymore because of it. Why did I do this to myself...I get so depressed. I have started walking...and I cry when I do because I am alone.

Rachel said...

I agree. I'm trying hard to shed the unwanted pounds but realize I have parts of my personality that also need changing. I sometimes am over-sensitive as a result of not feeling good about myself, although I feel better about myself than I used to.

Larry said...

I've read other articles about this very issue just recently. From what I understand the "high" of feeling better about oneself because one is now thinner doesn't last? There must be something deeper than being in shape or thin that we all need.

Renee said...

It's good to care about your health. However, we always need to work on our inner selves. We cannot get anywhere in life if we are constantly trying to be good enough and/or better than others.

Food Addict said...

I started purging the food I ate several years ago to keep off the weight. I felt good for awhile getting all that new attention from men. However, after awhile it left me empty inside.

Sweatpea said...

I think life and health can both be improved when weight is lost. However, my eyes have been opened to the possibility that working on how I feel on the inside is equally as important.

Theresa said...

I want to get rid of insecurities-that along with the extra pounds. However, after reading over some of these blog posts, improvement of physical appearance does not mean immediate increase in self-esteem.

Julie Anne said...

In my 20s I was so happy to have lost weight, and was actually just at the edge of what was ideal for my age and height. It actually did help me increase my confidence and then I was better able to talk to men. However, it didn't improve the quality of relationships as I didn't really deal with all of the underlying self-esteem issues that transend beyond losing weight.

Susanna said...

You're not the only one. I feel this way too-oversensitive sometimes, even when making at least a little bit of progress.

Susanna said...

You are absolutely right. I think this may be exactly what Dr. Nina is trying to get us to see right now.

Kendra said...

Wow. I have a lot of insecurities about my body to get rid of. I'm anorexic and if only some of the people at school knew me better then would not envy what I look like, especially since I look sickly and bony. (I used to think I was fat until I went to therapy, only I'm the one who added the sickly part not my therapist LOL.)

Miles said...

I've been there too. I actually was at my idea weight for a long time. Sometimes a heartbreak can affect a person's eating patterns. I know it did for me.

Julie Anne said...

I had friends who I used to envy who were in a similar situation. I was surprised when I first realized that they had just as many insecurities as someone who is too heavy.

Sarah said...

This sure is an eye opener. I realize now it is the shyness and insecurity I wanted to lose, as well as the weight. It can become an obsession.

Kerry said...

This does in theory make sense to me. I think I'm starting to understand that it's not just about losing weight. It's about feeling better about myself.

Harold said...

Even when using healthy means of losing weight the "honeymoon" phase of feeling more attractive wears off. I know what I'm talking about. Feeling more attractive didn't necessarily make me better-equipped than my parents who had a dysfunctional relationship.

Anonymous said...

I lost weight and I am now at a weight I am comfortable with. I feel better about my body and how I look in clothes. I like shopping again. I feel better when I meet new people or even when I am around friends. It has made a fabulous difference in my life and I hope the weight never comes back on. Am I different person, no, but then I never wanted to be a different person.