How I dealt with my weight gain?
How I worked through my fear of gaining weight while healing my relationship with food (Personal reference: I went from 54kg to 63-64kg and stayed at this comfortable weight for the last 10 years).
1. I had to admit I was fat phobic I understood that I was conditioned to praise thin bodies as well as believe that “fat” people were lazy, unhealthy etc…I had to make conscious efforts to watch all the bodies around me and look them for what they are: different bodies without judgment.
2. Where is the fear of weight gain coming from?I thought that I just feared the number on the scale as a simple representation of my personal value (silly I know) but In fact it was so much deeper than I anticipated. I feared rejection (rejection from critical parents, men… It didn’t help some of them told me I could lose a bit of weight), change, being judged, feeling unworthy, criticism etc…my next step was to make a list of WHO would criticise my weight gain, how would that make me feel and how I would respond etc…it’s a mental exercise that I enjoyed as I felt more in control over what may happen in the future
3. Avoid talking about weight lossI stopped praising people for their weight loss. I realised I know nothing about their journey and they may be struggling as well so I stopped saying things like “You look so slim”, “You lost so much weight, so disciplined etc…”. I realised that by saying that it made other people seem more valuable just because they were thinner. I also realised I knew nothing about their weight loss journey or personal struggles to even think they were happier in a smaller body.
4. I threw away old clothes that didn’t fitThis was tough but necessary. What was the point of keeping old things laying around if they were just a reminder how much weight I gained? Also, I realised that there were many days I was feeling fantastic in my skin but the moment I couldn’t fit in some size 2 or 4, the fantastic feeling was fleeting and I was miserable all over again. It could have been an actual trigger for a binge at the time because I was feeling so desperate knowing that I was still bigger.
5. Asking questionsI do this exercise with my clients a lot. I ask them to find a picture from their past when they were at their goal weight and ask themselves: were you happy in that body back then?The answer is in 99% of the cases: NOSame was for me. I found in my journey so many pictures with that ideal weight I was chasing but all I could remember was: when we were taking the photo I was thinking how big I was, how I need to hide behind everyone else in the picture, how I need to start a new diet etc…it was never about the weight itself.