Many of us have a hard time letting go of our overeating as a coping tool, even though the costs seem to outweigh the benefits. It’s often because we’re receiving deeper payoffs from our food and weight obsession. These are called secondary gains. Because of these secondary gains, we may feel ambivalent about losing weight and moving forward. This ambivalence often shows up as self-sabotage.
Ambivalence can be confusing. We may say we want something, like losing weight, and yet fear it as well. This can result in us saying one thing, yet doing another. It’s important to question and look below the surface of these fears. Upon closer inspection, these fears are often irrational.
Here’s a good acronym for Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.
We need to ask ourselves, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and move forward anyway. As we proceed along our weight loss journey, we see that we have blown many of these fears out of proportion. We do have the inner resources to handle the challenges that come our way.
Here are 5 Reasons for Holding onto Food and Weight Obsession
- Weight can be a form of protection. It can act as a buffer and boundary. For some women, being overweight makes them feel safe from unwanted advances and keeps them from feeling vulnerable. They like feeling invisible.
- Weight can be a way of saying no to intimacy with another person.
- Weight may also be a way of saying no to taking bigger risks in life or growing up and taking on more adult responsibilities.
- It can be a way of getting even with or punishing certain people.
- It can be a form of rebellion against societal or family pressures.
To truly leave food and weight behind, it takes courage to look at the deeper reasons behind it, and a willingness to walk through fear, one step, one day at a time.