Emotions and weight gain

Let’s get right into it.

Shame after weight gain

I have felt it, you have felt it, it’s pretty common especially after you give in and see the changes on your body for the first time. As a dieter you are so used to being in control over your body and the shame you feel is not only physical but also mental: how disgusting you look and are as a person to let yourself go like this.Your brain, while you are healing your relationship with food is sending you signals of shame because it’s YOU that have thought the brain that weight gain is bad. It’s YOU that have been restricting every time the scale would go up because weight gain is unacceptable.When you think about shame remind yourself this is your distorted brain talking, a symptom of your poor relationship with food and nothing more.

Grief and social anxiety

Grieving your old thinner body is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something familiar and it gave you comfort for so long. You may have had a lot of issues in the pursuit of that thin body but it was also your sense of purpose, your badge of honour and your accomplishment when other aspects of your life were a mess. Controlling what and how much you eat gave you power that is now slowly being taken away from you.Here is what you need to remember: it’s a loss and it’s ok to grieve. It will go away pretty fast, the moment you start to realise that the new body gives you so much more life than your old body could have given you. No more starving yourself, no more fatigue, no more refusing eating out, no more feeling ashamed for your eating habits. Keep reminding yourself the pain your thin body gave you and start putting a list together what you can accept from a new healthier you.When I was gaining weight, my biggest emotion was anxiety and specifically social anxiety. I still believe that most people fear weight gain but they also fear comments of other people. Let me break your little bubble here: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR BODY.Do you care about someone else’s body?No. The only time we care about someone else’s body is when we are comparing it to our own. When we are healing our own demons insecurities etc…the moment we feel bad about our looks or what we ate we tend to compare with what other people eat or how they look. We may think: “Ok I am not as bad as her”, “I eat more than her, I need to diet”, “She is so think… I need to get myself together”…so once again, no one cares about your body.The more you expose yourself to the world, the less uncomfortable it will be. You have created so many narratives about what other people will say where in fact, it’s your own thoughts about yourself that you keep projecting to the world.

Anger and anxiousness

Once you are in the recovery process, you will go through a phase of fearing gaining more weight. You will wonder: “Will this ever stop?”, “Is it worth it” and the answer is yes and yes. Once your body settles at a weight which we call set point weight (weight that you maintain with zero effort), the weight gain will stop.The weight gain stops once your body and brain perceives that finally there is no restrictions coming up next.Challenge your fear in a way that you start to get the following: Your thin body gave you a fake sense of control. You were never in control to begin with because you were a slave to the diet industry and ruining your body. It’s OK to fear weight gain but the benefits of living a life free of these restrictions is worth trying out.I was feeling very upset, angry that I was gaining weight. I felt as if all my hard work was abandoning me. But I had to be honest: the hard work gave me so much pain that I forgot why I was doing it in the first place. I never chased weight loss. I chased validation, acceptance and love.Anger is usually a form of expressing fear around weight gain and perfectly normal because you are used to being in control and not it seems with this weight gain that thing are slipping from you.Challenge your anger, let it out, understand that you are not angry at the weight gain. You are angry that you are living through this experience in the first place.