My Fear of Gaining Weight

Every day I worry about gaining weight.  Almost 4 years ago I lost 80 pounds and to this day, I worry about my weight. 

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week.  Eating disorders are serious.  Many people suffer in silence which is why eating disorders are the “silent killer.”  I have never had an eating disorder nor have I ever known anyone who’s had one, but I believe body imagine plays a role in eating disorders.   It’s no wonder with the emphasis in our society on being thin that we all think we’re fat.  I want to know what woman out there doesn’t think she’s fat?  The media doesn’t help either with the constant criticism of movie stars and singers physiques.  While the emphasis on looking a certain way can inspire weight-loss, it can easily turn into an obsessive behavior or worse an eating disorder.  It’s a fine line. 

Looking back 4 years ago when I lost 80 pounds, losing the weight was easy.  Being in maintenance mode has been so much harder than losing weight ever was.  I am in constant fear of gaining weight every day.  I know it’s not realistic to think I will gain 80 pounds back overnight; however, when you lose that much weight it’s hard to see yourself the way everyone else does. 

During my weight-loss, I meticulously counted calories, tracked what I ate and exercised daily.  Today I still count calories and weigh myself daily as if I were still losing weight.  I’m a size 2, sometimes a size 0 and yet, I look in the mirror and see the size 14 girl with ginormous thighs.  It’s not because my thighs are big.  It’s because my body imagine is distorted. 

I still envision myself as this size 14 girl. 

 pic26

Today I still track my daily calories and maintain a food log.  Matter of fact, I won’t eat unless I see the nutritional facts: fat, serving size, sugar, sodium and calories.  Over the past year, I’ve become more lenient with my eating.  I used to eat on a regimented schedule and never allowed myself to deviate from that plan.  Now I listen to my body and eat intuitively.  If I’m hungry at 11am, I eat.  If I’m not, I wait.  Learning to listen to my body has not been easy. 

Through my weight-loss, I fell in love with exercise & being active.  Fitness is something I enjoy, a stress relief and a hobby.  I couldn’t imagine giving that up.  I exercise daily with an occasional rest day here and there.  I know rest days are important for my body, but I’m not able to do them without anxiety.  To give my body reprieve from exercising daily, I mix up my trainings such that I follow a high-intensity workout day (i.e. spin class & weight train) with a low-intensity one (i.e. walk & swim).  This way I’m being active, yet giving my body rest.  Not to mention, I sit on my tush for 12 hours a day at work so being active in some form daily, in my opinion, is necessary to balance sitting. 

With my foot injury, it has been difficult for me at first to not be as physically active as before.  I had to accept that my body needed time to heal and that doing lower impact activities like swimming was best for my recovery.  As a result of being less active, my hunger changed.  I had to listen more closely to my body and adjust my eating habits. 

My injury has been a blessing in disguise.  It’s taught me about balance and acceptance.  I used to weigh myself every morning when I woke up and get my head wrapped around the number on the scale especially if it was a pound or two higher than normal. 

It’s been 5 weeks since my foot injury and I have not weighed myself.  My focus now is on how I feel.  And guess what?  My clothes still fit.  I don’t need to weigh myself every day and obsess over a few fluctuations. 

Yesterday I had the courage to wear my skinny pants to work.  Before I was scared they wouldn’t fit. 

pic27

Every day I’m learning to accept the new me and my body.  I won’t lie it’s a battle.  I’m not sure I will ever get used to people saying things to me like “you’re so small.”  Huh?  Are they talking to me?  Those things may never resonate with me.  Thankfully, I’m at the point in life where I recognize I’m always going to hate my thighs and I’m not going to starve myself or cut calories to try to change that.  But I need to continue to learn to love myself and my body.

Everyone has insecurities even the person you idolize most.  My advice is find the positive and make that your focus.  Remember you’re not alone in whatever struggle you may be faced with. 

Linking up to Amanda @ Diary of a Semi Health Nut
 

No question just your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great perspective! I weigh myself everyday as well….and stress about random fluctuations that I can’t justify. Not sure I’ll ever like the number that I read on the scale (or on the tag of my pants for that matter).

    Thanks for giving me something to think about…..and for admitting I’m not alone :).

  2. says

    Man I never thought about how hard it would be to MAINTAIN the weight loss. You look beautiful in both pictures though! Hopefully you can begin to relax a bit because calorie counting can be meticulous! Plus there’s no calorie counter on a carrot and you should be able to eat carrots and fresh veggies. :)

    PS I saw that you tried to link this to my love post, but it sent it to “moderation” because there is no back-link (aka link to my site on this post). Once you add it, let me know and I will approve it! :)

  3. says

    Great perspective – I totally get where you are coming from with this, though I don’t weigh myself … last summer I was getting a full cardiac workup after my physical, and that meant a total of 5 doctor visits in 2 weeks – and a range of 10 lbs! Fortunately the first one was ‘good’ and everything else was +/-5 so I could laugh it off …

    When I wrote about my ‘running story’ on my blog, the ‘second chapter’ was the hardest to write: I had lost more than 175 lbs and was running and so on, making the first chapter my ‘Rocky story’ … the second chapter was just spending the next 20 years mostly maintaining my weight, occasionally drifting up a bit occasionally getting a bit low, and so on. Bo-ring.

    But after my thyroid died I slowly gained 100 lbs as I battled to get my ‘mojo back’, so when I lost weight 2 years ago I was different than before – I am much more accountable for everything that goes in my mouth (rather than using running as an excuse to eat whatever), and am smarter nutritionally than ever.

    It is REALLY hard to transition to NOT constantly thinking about food … in fact, if I ever do it I will let you know! :D

  4. says

    I COULD NOT AGREE MORE! I actually stopped weighing myself 3 years ago because I hate numbers and I don’t want them to define me! I just tell myself to focus on the positive and that a number is just that, a number. It does define you! Words define you – and words are what you write on your blog, and why people come back to read more! :) Words are your personality!

  5. says

    Phwa, what an intense yet honest post, admitting the truth over obsessing about things is hard and I just want to give you props and being so honest about it. I think, and I know it’s easier said than done, but I want you to remember that you aren’t that girl you were before the weight loss, you are skinny and should accept it and embrace that you won’t be the girl before the weight loss again! Be proud of yourself! Beautifully honest post :) Thank you

  6. says

    This is a great post!! After losing 60 pounds, I had an all – consuming fear of weight gain and hated myself if I deviated from my goal weight by even a pound. I was so hateful to myself. I think that negative attitude contributed to me gaining back some weight (I made one bad choice, had lots of negative self talk and then would eat my way through my feelings and hate myself more). After having my two babies and beginning a healthier lifestyle and a dedicated workout regiment, I’m now about 10-15 pounds above my goal weight, but have a much better attitude towards food, exercise, and myself. Weight loss is a journey and not a destination (one of my favorite quotes). Maintenance is extremely hard – but you seem to be making smart choices. Keep up the hard work!

  7. says

    I really love this post and can relate very well.. I lost about 30 pounds a few years ago and I constantly struggle with maintaining. I constantly am gaining/losing 5-10 pounds and it really is frustrating. In order for me to stay at one weight I do need to count calories and track etc like you mentioned above but sometimes I hate it.. For a while I was at my goal weight but then stress/work/life gets in the way but I agree what matters really is balance and acceptance. Thanks for the post and motivation :)

  8. says

    Great post, I suffered with an eating disorder for nearly 10 years and while I am now fully recovered, I have my bad days still. Being a dancer, an injury would set me back further, making me worry even more. I’m glad you’ve found peace with the scales. I have too, I never weigh myself anymore, even when I’ve been injured (I broke my foot 6 weeks ago), and life is much better.
    Eating disorders aren’t just losing weight, it’s about the mind and body dismorphia too. More people need to speak up, whether they’ve experienced one or not.
    Thanks for posting!
    Tash | Ballet, Dance & Fitness

  9. says

    I used to feel the same way about food, but luckily, I’ve put my fear of gaining weight behind me. Now that I have let go of this fear, I’ve been living a healthier and happier life. I still have my bad days, but I manage to get through them with a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Thank you for this lovely post; keep it up!

  10. says

    Awesome post. I lost 20-30 pounds (30+ at my lightest when I was too skinny, 20 at my heaviest, now it’s bottomed out at about 23-34) after college. I live in a CONSTANT fear of food. It’s terrible. I’m just so scared of no longer being a size 0. It’s so dumb – thanks for the reminder that it’s how I feel, now what the scale says.

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