Fear of (re)gaining weight

img_0150Something new I’ve come to know since losing 150 lbs has been a fear of going back to being obese. It’s a strange fear, and I know it’s a bit irrational, yet it lingers in the back of my mind like grains of sand in a corner that can’t be reached by a broom. You can just barely get to it and sometimes get at it a little bit, but in the end, the only thing that works is to blow it out.

I sometimes have dreams about it, though admittedly the frequency of the dreams has diminished over time and as I learn to accept the new me. After eating a particularly filling or over-sized meal, my mind goes into a sort of subdued panic mode.

“I’m going to get so fat!”

“My stomach is going to balloon out and be huge again!”

“I’m going to gain so much weight!”

Then, the same thing happens over and over (which is likely why the fear is subsiding over time): nothing happens. I end up either not gaining weight, gaining only a little bit, or even losing weight. The end result is that as long as I’m careful with my diet and I eat right and get my regular exercise for my heart and muscles, my weight stays around the same, within 2-3 lbs.

Fluctuations used to give me stress, but now I know it’s just part of a natural cycle: sometimes, my weight is up a few lbs, sometimes it’s down. It depends on things like how hydrated I am, when my last stool movement was, or even how recently and how hard I ran. After a particularly tough run, my weight will go up a bit as my body heals itself.

Through time, I’ve learned a lot about my body as I’ve been paying attention to it far more closely than I ever had. As I learn more, I am coming to grips with slight weight fluctuations and learning to eliminate the fear of becoming obese again. I know that the logical part of me will never allow my weight to soar again, and I know what I need to do in the event I gain more weight than I expect. So, I have the ammunition to attack any weight problem I face; I just need to be confident in my ability to do what it takes in the event I face that issue. For now, I need to relax and just keep eating properly and let those fears recede.

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