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Old 02-20-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
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flowergail HB User
How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

How many of you are driven by what seems to be the fear of gaining weight. I know that's what it seems like on the surface. I do know that it goes deeper than that.

But, if I knew for a fact that I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain any weight, then I feel like I could relax about food.

Even though I know that 20+ years ago, I thought I would not be able to handle weighing more than the 100 pounds I weighed then. Yet, over the years,I have gained to around 120 pounds. And now I panic when I go over that, and my jeans get tight.

So, of course, that right there shows the irrationality of it all.

Anyone else extremely compulsive about having a flat stomach? That's the trigger for me, it seems too. Pants get tight, my mood changes.

Its all about seeing reality. But how do you get there?

And anyone else experienced periods of time where you DO get it together, and eat normally, and love it....but then slip back, and all the old thinking comes back. Seems I only did well, because I didn't gain any weight.

That's where I am right now. The old thinking has come back somewhat. And the trigger SEEMS to be the fact that I've gained a bit of weight.

 
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:59 PM   #2
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Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

hey, i don't know either, but i struggle with this really bad also, so i think we should all talk about it (A LOT!) i think getting rid of that fear is key to recovery, but i really don't understand how you get there, you know?

before my ed, i was NEVER overweight (low end of "healthy" BMI) and i ate a LOT and really anything i wanted. yeah, i ate healthy at times, but pretty unhealthy too. i'm 6 feet tall, i've never been overweight in my life, so why am i absolutely convinced that if i stopped counting calories, my weight would skyrocket? it's so illogical and it frustrates me so much, but i can't shake that fear.

i know it all comes down to control, but i'm not sure i fully understand that or know how to get over it, you know? it's like i think that if i don't CONTROL every bit of calorie and bit of exercise, the world will fall apart or something. why do i have that NEED to stay absolutely in control of everything? ugh, frustrating like i said.

plus, why do i have such an aversion to being at a "healthy" weight? i know people see me as "too skinny," as sometimes i DO feel that way. but then why don't i just want to feel "normal/average?" it's like i must be ABOVE average (ie: underweight) or i'm not doing good enough or something. plus, what do i think, seriously?!? that everyone will hate me and i'll be miserable and fat if i gain 10 pounds? seriously, the rest of the world doesn't care what i weigh!!! so why do i care so much . . .

anyway, i guess i don't really have any advice, but i feel that fear ALL the time and i hate it. i really think this could be a strong thread, though, so i urge the rest of you to write something, anything about this issue. how do we lose/combat/overcome/cope with the overwhelming fear of gaining weight? why do we have that fear? anyway, looking forward to some posts and flowergail, i'm right with you. i just wish we knew how to stop it . . .

 
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

hey first off i just wanted to say thanks to all of you who post on here just being honest and sharing in your struggles and encouragement and just the support that is given here. I"ve been coming here reading the posts on this board for awhile now, but for some reason have been scared to post.
I just wanted to say thank you because there are people out there who i am sure like me are being helped by what you each are sharing in this journey towards being recovered and all that comes with that. It's comforting or and a reassurance to know that you aren't the only one that feels a certain way. as much as people can try to understand there are just certain things about EDs i think that only people who have been there truly get or know how intense it can be.

As far as this post goes about the fear of gaining weight, i'm right there with both of you in that it's just a constant fear and something that seems like it is always there. I think about before i had an ED and how i was actually a healthy weight and ate whatever and never thought about it. then now i hardly remember what that would even be like to go a day in that mindset. I've been battling off and on for 10 years now. I dont' want to live ruled by thoughts of food, calories, exercise and all the guilt but yet at the same time i don't know how i'd just let go of wanting to be a certain weight.

The control issue that you pointed out made me look at a little differently too, it's like i know it's a control issue but at the same time i'm maybe unwilling to see it for that. i want it yet hate it.

anways thanks you guys!
Blessings

 
Old 02-20-2006, 05:01 PM   #4
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firewtr38 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

I think this is a really good thread too. I've been really quiet on these boards for a while, I read every day but I haven't written much. But this thread is definitely a MUST REPLY. I ask myself that question every day. "What would it mean if I gained some weight?" And I can't answer it. Like others here have said, are people going to hate me? if they did that's really not my problem. Is my life literally going to fall apart? I mean really, what the heck does it matter? But the sad thing is that it DOES! And it sounds like it matters to all of us. I also think back to when I used to eat whatever and not care. Now the thought of doing that is so beyond me. I know I've made a lot of progress and I am glad for that. But this issue is always there. I'm terrified of gaining weight. And for what reason? No idea! The thing is that I've given up my scale and I'm getting weighed by my dietician. So I really don't even know what the number is anymore. But I do notice if my pants feel tight or something.
Does anyone else here have that problem where some days they feel really bloated and then they freak that they've gained like 10lbs? That happens to me a lot and I hate it. The damn fit of my pants is also a big trigger, which I think someone else had mentioned.
Well anyway, I just wanted to say that I can so relate to all of you on this one. ED's make us crazy, yet we don't let them go for fear of going crazy without them. It baffles me.

Lauren

 
Old 02-21-2006, 02:58 AM   #5
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PurpleCat2 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

I can so relate to what youíve posted here! It was so relieving to see other people also think / feel this way. At times I look in the mirror and think my skinny body is not attractive and would probably look better with a bit more flesh. But on the other hand it gives me so much security to feel skinny. I feel ok as long as I stay at the same weight (I donít want to loose more), but whenever I put on even a pound, itís a battle in my mind to not adjust my food plan by reducing the calories! I also find it triggering when my jeans feel tight. And my stomach seems to stick out, but then when I pinch it I have to admit that there is no fat, and I cannot get rid of the organs behind my skin! My mum called yesterday, asking me if Iíve managed to put on weight. But I donít want to put on weight! I donít know if I will ever want to! I donít know how I will cope emotionally without being skinny. Itís the only way I feel safe. Itís the only way I can love myself. I realise the Ďlittle girlí image plays a huge part. I am tall, and yet inside I feel vulnerable and weak. So I portray this by being skinny. I want people to see the fragile side of me, the little girl that is afraid within me.
So Iím afraid I cannot give suggestions as to how to overcome the fear of gaining weight. But I can just say that I relate, and struggle with it most days.
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"Let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen carefully."

 
Old 02-21-2006, 06:53 AM   #6
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flowergail HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

Wow, this is amazing. I posted that question, thinking that there were some of you who knew the answer to it!!!

I am 49, and have not eaten without thinking about how many calories, etc., since i was probably around 11. That's when I started getting kinda heavy and my mom started worrying about it....put me on a diet, even took me to the doctor and he put me on "diet pills". Back in the 60's, I'm sure it was plain old speed!!!

Anyway, after that, I attempted to control my calories to 1000 per day, all through high school. Until, one day, when I was around 18, I discovered the throwing up thing. WOW! I could eat anything Iwanted, stuff I hadn't allowed myself for so long, and eat as much as I wanted and it didn't matter. Plus, I started losing weight like I'd never lost before. Went from around 130 (probably my healthy weight) to 100 pounds. I was ecstatic! And man did I get a lot of attention from people amazed at how I had lost weight, etc. I was on top of the world. Until.....after about 5 years of this, I suddenly realized I was hooked. Hooked on the binging. Hooked on the purging. Hooked, hooked, hooked. Been in recovery ever since. Been to therapy, stay on prozac.

The past few years have been the best. I went nearly a whole year without b/p-ing. And actually stayed at a weight and size I felt really good about. BUT...this past year, I found myself gaining for various reasons, and the fear came back. I realized the only reason I was doing so well was that I hadn't gained any weight.

I SO can relate to the thoughts thatI know logically that no one anywhere could care less if my stomach sticks out or not. Not even my husband! He thinks I look great. He even thinks I'd be great with more meat on my bones. And, I don't judge other people by how much their belly sticks out. I can look at people around me who weigh plenty more than I do, and think they look wonderful.

When I was high school, I always felt like I was not as good as those girls around me who had great bodies, the cheerleaders, popular ones, ones that could wear 2-piece bathing suits, etc. It was a major thing in my head. Am I still stuck there? trying to prove I'm good enough....cuz I got it in my head that I was not loved, not good enough, I was bad because I was fat ( and shy...I was nagged a lot about that too)

But then I read from several of you that you never struggled with weight at all, but started doing the same things and having the same thoughts as I do.

Let's figure this out!!! Let's put our heads and our hearts together and set ourselves free!

 
Old 02-21-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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Jonistyle2 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

man, this thread IS good. and i still don't get WHY we all fear gaining weight so much!! grrr...

one thing i'm seeing is that we all feel EMPOWERED by being skinnier than others/skinnier than we should be. am i right? (definitely correct me if i'm not) so if that's the case, what are OTHER ways we feel/can feel empowered about ourselves? how else can we feel superior to others and worthy and as friggin' COOL as we actually are??? come on, girls, let's have some fun with this! if we can start focusing on the OTHER ways in which we are "worthy," maybe our ability to be thin will be a less important reason, you know?

okay, so here's three for me:
1. I have fantabulous curly hair that women everywhere are insanely jealous of.
2. I am incredibly talkative and friendly and love being around people. Basically, i feel like i can talk to anyone and have a good conversation, plus i just LOVE talking (can you tell from the length of my posts!?!)
3. I'm a very good writer and more intelligent than many people i interact with daily.

Everybody else post some! I feel like i just said some really stuck-up things, but i think we need to be a little conceited right now and champion our good points!!! So, BRAG about yourselves and let's try to discover what else we can enjoy about ourselves besides the fact that we can micro-manage calories and maintain our weight within 3/4 of a pound!

 
Old 02-21-2006, 11:17 AM   #8
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flowergail HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

You're absolutely right. It's all about feeling good about ourselves, and for whatever reason we each have, being/staying skinny gives us some sense of being better, or at least as good as everyone else.

What blows my mind is that I can admire and respect other women, think they're beautiful, sexy, etc....and they're lots heavier than me!!! Many have a MUCH bigger belly than I do, and I think they look awesome in their clothes.

I think I said this in another thread once....I can look in the mirror, and find myself thinking..."Wow, you really look good"...and I run from that. Can't ALLOW myself to compliment myself. It feels uncomfortable. If I could force myself to look at pics of myself more...I've thought about that...maybe I could finally see the reality in how I look.

OK....here goes for me....gonna try to point out the awesome stuff about me:

1) I AM 49 years old, and no one can believe it. I get comments all the time about how good I look for my age.

2) People seem to gravitate to me to talk to me. Tell me their problems. I have the gift of compassion.

3) I'm very intelligent, and the few jobs I've had, I've excelled at quickly. And it gets noticed how efficient I am, and how well I do my job.

Wow.....this is hard!
Weird.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 11:28 AM   #9
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Jonistyle2 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

yeah, it was kinda tough for me too. maybe we've hit on something! maybe we really DO measure our worth according to our control over food/exercise/weight. that's a sick and nasty thought, but if it's true, we gotta accept it in order to move past it, you know? what do you all think?

 
Old 02-21-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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firewtr38 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

I think you're absolutely right! I think all people with an ED suffer from REALLY low self esteem. And therefore, we spend so much time looking down on ourselves and noticing our flaws (hence the "flaws" we see in our bodies) that we ignore the good qualities.

Ok so here are mine

I have incredible hair. I get tons of compliments on how straight, thick, dark and shiny it is

I am really good at my job as a therapist. I work really well with just about all of my clients and I have gotten very few complaints

I am only 27yrs old, I have a partner, a house, a full time job, my masters degree and I just passed my licensing exam for social work

Wow, that felt kinda good.

 
Old 02-25-2006, 08:09 AM   #11
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Goya123 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

I agree so wholeheartedly with everything said.

I have an urge to preface my post with "Well, I don't really have an eating disorder...", but that's rather silly, isn't it?

There's something so nice about seeing all your illogically worrisome thoughts posted by other people.

I have been asking myself "What am I afraid will happen if I gain weight?" And I, too, keep noticing that I find women very attractive whose bellies are much bigger than mine (body image concern #1 for me), who are overall heavier than I am. So, why is that unacceptable for me?

I believe that my biggest fear is the loss of control. I am, of course, also worried that my body will change (I am usually quite satisfied with how I look), but I know that the likelihood of that happening is extremely slim, so the degree to which I worry is irrational.

One poster mentioned that desire to be "above average" by being underweight, and I have felt that, too, and been appauled by that feeling! If I calculate my BMI and the number is at all in the "underweight" range, I feel proud; it's disgusting!

It's great to see that I'm not alone in this ridiculousness.

Thanks for starting a great thread!

 
Old 02-27-2006, 07:55 PM   #12
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s1mc7 HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

PHEW!! more people who think just like i do!

the one thing about me is..i believe i have pretty high self-esteem (i could probably list off a bunch of great things about myself). i just have nooo idea why i'm soo obsessed with controlling how many calories i eat per day and God forbid i go over. I feel completely controlled by food and the desperation to stay at the exact weight i am now. It's so hard because one part of me doesn't want to change for the fear i'll gain weight; but the other part just wants some damn freedom! it's not even like i'm a good skinny..i've restricted my calories so much that i've lost all my muscle and it's just flab...ughh frusturation!!!

 
Old 02-28-2006, 01:31 PM   #13
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andislaffet HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

This thread is fantastic
I was anorexic for about 2 years but managed to get over and got my weight (im 5.7" and weigh about 130 pounds) to an ok level i'm still quite skinny and I to panic if i think i'm gaining weight, if i get pre-menstrual bloating (which I have at the moment) I can't stop looking in the mirror and my underwear feels tight,I tell myself i'm being stupid worrying about a few pounds when there's all the terrible things going on in the world.
Like some of you said you can look at average weight woman and think they look better, move femanine with curves , part of me would absolutly LOVE to gain some weight as I haven't got any hips or anything ,but at the same time i'm terrified of loosing control (or I think thats what i'm worried about ) anyway sorry for not having much positive to say! but it's really great to read what you all have written and see that i'm not alone.

 
Old 03-03-2006, 03:39 PM   #14
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iwanttobefree HB User
Re: How do you get over the fear of gaining weight?

i am with you!
i dont think my self esteem is low as i have always felt ok about myself but cant shake this damn weight obsesson..not so much the number but the CONTROL of the number grr

 
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