Ditch Your Fat-suit!

Fatsuit

When you’re overweight, your mind can be full of guilt, longing and self-loathing. Once you start the weight loss process, you’re singularly focused on your diet, exercise and the results on the scale. Now that you’ve finally reach your goal weight, what happens? The activities that have been taking up a good portion of your brain space are no longer needed, creating a vacuum. That vacuum has the potential to suck back in all of the insecurity, doubt and fear from which you worked so hard to free yourself. This creates a healthy, fit person that still feels overweight. You’ve basically put on a fat-suit!

We view ourselves from two different vantage points—how we feel about ourself (internal) and how we think others see us (external.) Our perceptions skew these views rooted in our self esteem and confidence. Our actions and feelings are directly driven by our thoughts or perceptions. If that vacuum pulls back in all of the negativity you’ve longed to be rid of, it will cause you to act and feel accordingly. This will have an impact on your confidence and self esteem and may actually cause others to treat you as if you’ve made no change. You get depressed, fearful, apathetic and wonder what you worked so hard for and BINGO, you slide back. Can you see how we get stuck in this vicious cycle?  To succeed, you need to ditch that fat-suit mentality once-and-for-all and leave the “old you” behind.

Plugging that vacuum is one option. This takes an awful lot of energy though as you constantly try to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved, that you know how to eat, that there’s no rational reason for you to be be afraid, etc. But I think there’s a better way. Instead of patching, how about replacing the space in your brain with new thoughts so that the old ones simply can’t come back?

Think of it this way. What do your naturally fit and healthy friends think about all day? Are they worrying about what every next meal will bring? Do they panic or have a meltdown if they miss a gym day? Probably not. Food and exercise may be important to them but they also have so much more going on in their life. That’s the key; create a full, rich, well-rounded life experience for yourself. By focusing on your overall wellbeing and developing new talents and interests you’ll naturally begin to change your perceptions of the world. You’ll increase your self-esteem and confidence in all aspects of your life. You’ll create a new, vibrant, completely whole you with a fit, healthy body at its core.

So, what to do next? Create new goals and explore new interests. Try something you wouldn’t have done when you were overweight. Do things that purposefully increase your self-esteem and confidence. Take risks; maybe go after that promotion you’ve wanted. Focus on your overall wellbeing. Live as if you’ve always been fit and knowing you have the ability to shape your own future. Yes, losing weight is tough but peeling off that heavy, ugly mental fat-suit can be harder—but you can do it!

Image from Flickr user dsb nola Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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