Weight—and Weight Denial—Weigh Heavy

We can deny an awful lot of things in our lives and find ways to believe what we want. We can carry on these deceptions for a shockingly long time and often get away with it! But deceiving ourselves with weight denial carries its own penalty. There’s nowhere to hide. If someone says they’re losing weight but they don’t look any different and their clothes aren’t fitting differently, it’s not happening.

I was really shocked this week when I discovered that a blogger who promotes himself as a self-improvement, “live your dreams” life coach has been lying about his own weight problem. He has written about dealing with it and how in the past he undertook a crash diet and extreme exercise regimen that ultimately failed as that approach usually does. In the promotion of the materials he sells, he has written about taking his weight problem under control, claiming to live by his own principles of improving your life. Back in April, a reader posted to the Amazon page of his ebook that she was disappointed he did not seem to be following up on his claim that his weight was under control. He insisted that he was down 100lbs from when he’d written that ebook and that he was maintaining the loss.

But he wasn’t. It eventually came out that he had been packing the pounds back on to a new lifetime high weight. You can’t hide 369lbs. Why would someone even try to lie about that? For someone who presents himself as he does, his credibility has taken a serious blow.

You and I know the ever-present shame felt by those of us who are fat or have been fat. We know the pressure we feel all the time to be “doing something” about it. That’s usually in our own heads enough without hearing from others “When are you going to do something about your weight?” It can become a kind of undercurrent to your thoughts that begins to chip away at your general sense of well-being. A feeling of dread and anxiety starts to build about “doing something about it.” It can start to dominate your life.

Unlike other deceptions we may play upon ourselves, being fat is something we can’t ignore or forget, still there’s a way that we try. I call it “cycling out.” Dealing with your weight gets tiring! Trying to figure out the next diet, the next exercise regimen to try, the next “something” to do. I believe some of us become desperate for relief from the worry and anxiety of it and so we go for periods of time when we simply stop trying. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care anymore or that we’ve decided to “let ourselves go” or that we’re irresponsible. There’s a limit to how much anxiety and nagging worry we can carry around before we can’t handle it anymore and have to push it away for awhile. Cycling out happens when we decide that struggling to lose weight is more difficult to bear that being fat.

I can remember often wishing being fat was a problem that I could just make “go away” but of course it does not work like that. Realizing that I had been doing the same things over and over was huge. You stress and struggle until you find something that works for you. Letting go of everything that’s failed in the past can be difficult because we’re so drawn to the false promises of the latest diets, fat burner pills, gadgets, gimmicks, and programs. Finding an authentic peace with eating and your weight is not about “accepting” being fat and choosing that you’re going to eat whatever you want and decide you’re fine with that.

Feeling in control is what finally releases you. Finding what gives you that sense of control is something only you can do for own body, your own mind, your own life. It has to be forever.


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    • JoAnn on August 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    This one hit all my buttons. I went through periods of not doing anything, not because I didn’t care but because I was afraid. Every time I lost weight, I regained it and then some. I became terrified that I’d end up at 400 lbs. Still can’t entirely shake that fear since I haven’t gotten to goal weight yet and haven’t proven I can maintain the loss.

    As much success as I’ve had this time (with good old fashioned hard work) I’m still drawn to things that promise it faster. I really have to mentally say “STOP IT!” and let logic overcome emotion. It very much gets tiring trying to win this battle. It’s mentally taxing always being vigilant about what I eat, making conscious choices rather than mindless eating.

    And it definitely chips away at your soul, feeling less than or not quite good enough. The good news is focusing on health rather than weight loss was a major change in mindset and it does make things easier. I do look forward to the day when reaching goal weight isn’t top of mind, when thoughts of healthy choices are occasionally crowded out by a good book and I can add something other than suggestions for healthy snacks to a conversation.

    As always, love your posts and your perspective.

    1. I hate to tell you my friend, it never completely goes away. When I put on that extra weight, and it was just 20lbs, It FREAKED me out. And then not being able to just drop it right off has been inordinately troubling. So now I struggle with THAT!! Like good grief, I lose 170lbs, gain 20 back, lose half of it, and I’ve still got that undercurrent of anxiety bugging me!!! Part of that is from being a weight loss book author now, I have to live the example.

      But seriously, I think anything in life that takes a huge amount of work to get, you spend forever afraid you’re going to lose it.

    • Julie on September 6, 2013 at 4:12 am

    This completely rings true for me.

    I have been on some kind of weightloss plan my whole adult life, I have finally managed to find some control through running although I still manage to lapse from time to time.

    The pressure to always be doing something is so draining and sometimes you do take a break from it just well to give yourself a break!!

    You have to be honest with yourself though and be true to your readers, followers and buyers of your products

    Great post!!

    1. I’m so glad you found something that works for you, Julie! That’s the real key—to stop trying what might work for somebody else and really get focused on yourself. Your own routine, what will “fit” for your time, your lifestyle, and most important, your sensibilities. You have to be able to make whatever it is a pretty much a permanent part of your life so it’s GOT TO FIT!!

      What’s so insidious about that need to “do something” is that you’re aware all the time that people think you don’t care but inside it’s driving you nuts!!!

      Sending you peace…Dagny

  1. […] years, I was either repeating a variation on something that had failed for me in the past or I was cycling out and doing nothing specifically aimed at trying to control my weight. It’s a pattern that can […]

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