Weight Loss Anxiety

Anxious, overweight woman with measuring tape.

Weight loss anxiety is a real problem for many who are trying to lose weight. It would seem that getting to a healthy weight would make us happy, so why be stressed about it?

People get anxious over losing weight largely because they have unreal expectations about how long it should take to get a fit and healthy body. They want instant gratification, and the truth is, that is just not going to happen by going on a diet. We have to realize that it took a good amount of time to gain weight, therefore it is going to take a good amount of time to lose that same weigh in a healthy manner. It can be explained in fine detail to some why their weight loss journey will be slow, yet they still expect overnight results. Again, overnight results are just not going to happen.

Healthy weight loss must begin in your head!

Man with a bright idea

If you want to permanently lose weight in a healthy manner, you have to get your mind wrapped around permanent lifestyle changes. You can’t simply rush through a diet for bathing suit season, and the return to your old habits. When you do this, you are not doing yourself any good at all, you are only setting yourself up for endless yo-yo dieting which never brings about satisfaction. Weight loss and weight management requires a permanent change to your lifestyle!

Examine what pulls you down.

When you create a new lifestyle for losing and managing your weight, you have to carefully examine what it is that derails you.

What are the habits and patterns that get in your way to success?

You must do a self examination and ask yourself if your reasons for getting derailed might actually just be an excuse. If you are making excuses, you need to take responsibility for your thinking and change your mindset. Excuses are never going to get you to a healthy weight. Results are what counts, not lame excuses. Weight loss anxiety is not a valid reason for getting derailed.

Of course, there are times when we encounter valid reasons for getting derailed temporarily, but those should never be anything more than very short term circumstances. Whatever your personal issue, the pattern has to change if you want to be successful. If you encounter a valid reason to get derailed, then it is incumbent upon you to fix the problem. You are capable of far more than you know.

Have realistic expectations.

Weight loss anxiety happens when dieters set themselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations. The bottom line is, you might want to get back to what you weighed at eighteen years old, but you are likely to never have that same  body again. That being said, you can still have a fit and healthy body and a nice figure at any age. You just have to be patient and continuously work at it.

At David’s Way, we only recommend that you try to lose no more than one pound per week, two pounds maximum. While that does not sound like much in the short term, one pound per week is very doable and comes out to fifty two pounds of weight loss in a year. Now think about how much better you would look and feel being fifty two pounds lighter than you are now.

Set small goals.

You can alleviate a lot of your weight loss anxiety by setting many smaller goals that lead to the accomplishment of your main goal in weight loss. These small, short term goals should be things that will improve your lifestyle without wreaking havoc in your life. This will help you immensely with your weight loss anxiety. Achieving the short term and smaller goals will give you small victories to be find joy in during your journey.

We all know that change is hard and it is especially difficult if you try to make too many changes, so start small and gradually make lifestyle improvements.

Find a network of support!

We all need support, especially during the tough times. Find a friend, family member or support group you can connect with on a regular basis. People who are connected with others, whether it’s in person or online, do better than dieters who try to go it alone. Support groups are great, you will encounter others who have been exactly where you are in your journey.

Stop your old habits!

If you believe that you can continue with your old habits that got you over weight in the first place, there is little reason for you to even begin trying to lose weight. If you keep returning to your old habits, you are bound to fail. We all know that change is hard, but permanent change must take place if you are serious about getting your weight to a healthy level.

Hold yourself accountable!

Weigh yourself regularly and keep a journal that details what you eat, how much you exercise, your emotions, and your weight and measurements. By doing this, you can always look back and see a written record that will show you how far you have come in your journey. Sometimes, it seems like we are not making any progress until we look at how much we have actually progressed.

Weight loss anxiety does not mean you are a weak person.

People living with obesity have been ‘socially conditioned’ to turn to diets for a cure for their obesity, and to blame themselves when diets fail. If this is you, it is imperative that you know it was the diet that failed you, you did not fail the diet.

If you are not nutritionally savvy, it is not entirely your fault if you have gained weight and have not been able to lose it. Nutrition is not taught in schools as it used to be. Neither are too many parents teaching their children at home about the role of good nutrition. It is not your fault when people have never taught you what you need to know about weight management. That being said, if you want to be healthy, you still have to take action and begin educating yourself.

With weight loss, many factors work against your efforts. An unsustainable diet plan is one of those factors. Not only do we tend to gain weight back but multiple failed diet attempts can have long term devastating effects on our confidence to try to lose weight again. When we fail, we decrease our odds of giving 100% efforts with future weight losing attempts.  Without giving a true maximum effort, weight loss will be even more challenging than it already is.

This fear of failure only keeps driving our weight loss anxiety deeper and deeper with each attempt. You have to create a new lifestyle that revolves around permanent healthy eating practices in order to succeed. Fad diets will never get you there my friends.

Think about this, giving 100% effort is scary because it robs us of any excuses if we fail. However, the converse of this is that if you keep giving 100% effort you cannot fail because you are continually trying.

Comments and questions are most welcome!

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