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Are you terrified of weight gain?

Try this 5-step fear busting strategy to help you let go

It has been found that 90% of women don’t like what they see in the mirror.


The number 1 cause of food restriction is body dissatisfaction.

Now there is nothing wrong with wanting to be slim and healthy, but it is easily to fall into the dieting and weight loss trap. We are programmed growing up that our weight will a huge impact on our happiness, health, careers, success and relationships. So, your wanting to be skinny is not your fault. Unfortunately, the world we live in now, diet culture and appearance obsession are at an all-time high. This has become our new normal and we are exposed to this from the moment we start watching tv, listening to music, reading magazines and joining social media in social media.


Wanting to look good is not something to be ashamed of, but when this starts to tip over into depriving yourself of crucial nutrients, cutting out food groups, calorie cutting, quick fix dieting and extreme exercising is an extremely dangerous health game. This leads us to become completely disconnected from our bodies and we lose the ability to trust ourselves, our hunger signals and we ignore important signals our bodies are telling us.


So, I would like you to ask yourself this question; “what do I believe that being skinnier will give me?” Just write that down as “I believe being skinny will….”


I hear you and I know how you are feeling.


I always wanted to be skinner growing up. I rode horses competitively as a teenager and as a result had an extremely bulky upper body; something which I hated! From the age of 16 I punished myself to try and be smaller through extreme diets, skipping meals, over exercising and cutting out food groups. It became an obsession and my number one priority. I was petrified of gaining back the weight, which became harder and harder to maintain and needed more and more restriction, deprivation and exercise.


Back then I believed that being skinny would mean I would be more attractive, more liked and more confident. The reality? 10 years of Anorexia and Bulimia, lies, damaged relationships, loneliness, anxiety….and I was miserable despite being skinny! But I was being driven by so much fear of weight gain that I felt trapped and as a result I just continued on down my path of destruction.


What I learned is that when we are being driven by fear, this is not an effective or long-term strategy.


WHY?


1. It has no direction except ‘AVOID AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE’. But your motivation will run out after a while of living your life by restriction (the thing which is helping you avoid gaining weight). This is when you may find yourself with extreme hunger pangs, cravings and even set off the binge-restrict-hate yourself cycle.


2. It is STRESSFUL! When we live our lives from a place of fear we will always be in a state of potential threat as fear causes the fight or flight response. Fear is an emotion and when we are responding emotionally to things we will never be able to think rationally and we can’t make appropriate decisions. Our minds will end up associating food with danger. This is a natural response of our brain just doing what it’s meant to do to, to keep us safe from anything which activates the fight or flight response.


If this is all you have, you will keep having to think of everything you are having to eat, foods to avoid, calories, the number on the scale, body checking- to name a few. The things is, you feed what you focus so, so by paying attention to all these things related to your fear of weight gain it can actually move you closer towards it rather than further away and you end up feeling totally consumed and trapped (what you pay attention to grows).


If you are fed up feeling totally consumed by food and your weight then follow these 5 fear busting strategies to help you let go and be able to explore what is truly important to you.


1. Explore the actual truths of your current situation


I spent 10 years of my life skinny, as I thought I had always wanted. But the reality was much different. I had to starve myself and punish myself in the gym every day to maintain this. My relationships suffered, I destroyed my family, I lied, I was anxious and lonely and I had no idea who I was. I was in denial for a long time, telling myself that I was just really healthy and loved fitness. To face the fear, you must start questioning the truths of where you are and how your life is living restricting, depriving yourself and prioritising staying skinny over everything else.

Ask yourself these 8 questions:


1. “What is this fear costing me in my:

· School/work

· Friendships or dating life

· Family life

· Health

· Happiness and emotional health”


Make a list of everything this is affecting in these areas- brain dump onto a page anything that comes to mind.


2. “What is really at stake if nothing changes?”

3. “What are the benefits if I stop living in fear?”

4. “What do I fear if I gain weight? How likely is this to happen?”

5. “What will happen if I let go of my fear- what will this allow me to do that I can’t do now?”

6. “What will happen if I don’t let go?”

7. “What will I lose by giving this up?”

8. “If this fear were to disappear what would become really important to me?”



2. Move towards body acceptance


I am a little sceptical of the whole love your body movement. When you have been struggling with food and your weight like I had for over 10 years, it seemed pretty impossible and unrealistic to start loving myself. So, I made a commitment to myself to start making these steps towards accepting my body.


1. Thank your body daily for everything is does for you, from allowing you to go for that nice walk, to sticking with you even when you were punishing yourself. This will help you connect to your body in a kinder way


2. Every day name 1 thing you like about your body- could be your right little finger or the mole you have on your neck- doesn’t matter how small


3. Every day name 1 thing you like about yourself- if you find this hard than ask yourself what would a friend say is one of your nice qualities (or even ask them!)


4. Choose a positive cue word or create a statement to use whenever you notice yourself falling back into the fear and focus on weight. Mine was; “ I have so much more to offer the world than my weight, you got this”.



3. Start to detach from your thoughts


You are not your thoughts. They are like guests who check in and check out but you are always there. What makes them feel so real is the attention we bring to them. Often we can become so strongly associated with them we end up believing them!


Start to notice how you are thinking and how you are talking to yourself:


E.G. "I am so fat”, “I am huge”, “I am way bigger than I should be”.


Can you see that these are all ‘I am’ thoughts- which have been stored as our identity! No wonder we end up believing them. Next time this happens change the thought from I am to I feel X right now to start to edge yourself away from these negative and obsessive thoughts.



4. Chose what you are focusing on


Remember that what you are paying attention to grows and that by focusing on your weight you will be growing those neurological connections in your brain, making you obsess, worry and fear even more! This is taking away your true power and strengthening your dysfunctional relationship with food and your body, making it harder and harder to escape from.


Remind yourself of your answers to strategy number 1; the truths and shift your focus to the goals you are working towards. When the fear arises, pause, close your eyes and spend a few minutes visualising your future self, free and happy. Your brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is made up so the more you do this, it will help you grow positive neurological connections in your brain and weaken your old fear response.



5. Take your time and your body will work with you


I know how scary it is to actually put these steps into practice and let of something familiar. I totally believed that if I relaxed my food rules even the slightest that I would balloon and become a whale overnight! So, I started small, gradually increasing and expanding my variety of food:


· Choose 1 meal to focus on

· Add something extra to that meal

· Add slightly more of 1 food group in the meal

· Change the meal to something different


Try this for a week or 2 and start with whatever meal and new foods which feel safe. You can then increase the above or even move to another meal. This is show you that nothing bad is going to happen and your body will have chance to adapt to the small increases, firing up your digestion and metabolism again!


If that all feels overwhelming, that is ok. I resisted giving up my restrictions for over 10 years because I still believed that I would go back to the way I was before, unhappy and hating myself. If this sounds familiar- just compare that to how you are feeling now. If you are anything like me I fell victim to the I’ll be happy when I’m skinny syndrome. Unfortunately, this syndrome leads you down a dead-end path. Once you get to skinny, you find yourself moving onto the next thing; “I’m not happy yet so maybe I need to lose more weight”.


We end up chasing the body we believe will bring us happiness and yet feeling more and more miserable in the process. Happiness cannot be defined by something physical i.e. weight as this is changeable in time and space. Therefore, if we chase happiness based something changeable we will always be living in fear, because time and space can be lost!


I want you to know this is not your fault- society breeds us from a young age to place so much importance on the way we look, shoving dieting and weight loss down our throats at every opportunity. But, you can take responsibility for how you are feeling. If you are so fed up feeling consumed by food and weight and know you need to change but you are terrified of what will happen if you gain weight, then try this 5-step fear busting strategy:


1. Explore the actual truths of your current situation

2. Move towards body acceptance

3. Start to detach from your thoughts

4. Chose what you are focusing on

5. Take your time and your body will work with you


Want to know more about what strategies will best help you let go of your struggles with food and weight? Take this quiz to find out how your mind works, to help you break free faster and for good!


https://mailchi.mp/ac91dbad9156/recoverfastertool?fbclid=IwAR2pijCi7uLixrozyNsLaXajhV7cK8wkf6i4wAehyNJDutoGRy360hlIHQA



If you would like to chat 1:1 about what you are going through, get in contact today and let’s set up a call!


masteryourmind@mail.com

0432445320


Much love


Hannah xxxxxxxx


I specialise in helping girls and women overcome food struggles & eating disorders to reclaim their life so food & weight no longer defines them. They find their voice, tap into their power & unleash their true, free selves into the world.

If you are fed up living a life controlled by food, weight and obsessive thoughts and just want to escape once and for all? Check out my 1:1 therapy and coaching programme called You Unleashed!


https://www.master-your-mind.com/eating-disorder-treatment-sydney


Instagram: @hani_master_your_mind

FB- www.master-your-mind.com/hani.master.your.mind


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Hypnotherapy Sydney

Life Coaching Sydney

Eating Disorder Treatment Sydney

masteryourmind@mail.com

Call Hannah at Master your Mind on 0432 445 320