I'm losing weight, so why am I not happy?
Losing weight healthily is great for your health both mentally and physically. Your self-esteem often increases and your confidence takes on new life.
What people often do not talk about is the downside of losing weight. Not just the fear of putting it back on again but the fact that often when you are overweight you can feel invisible. Many feel that they don't get as much attention when larger then all of a sudden people are commenting on how you look and taking more notice of you.
You were protected by the added pounds and layers and once that goes you are now there for all to see. Sometimes your friends and family might treat you differently and this can be uncomfortable too. You may even find that new people approach you more than before. To some this sounds brilliant. But for those who have been through childhood trauma this is a precarious position.
For people who were often physically or sexually abused as a child, being seen was very unsafe. Wanting to hide from the world and the abuser can be a safety net taken into adulthood. Now your old coping mechanism is gone what do you do?
This is why it is so important that if you have been through childhood trauma and you are in the process of losing weight that you have support. This can be through good friends, family or perhaps a therapist. The reason why is to help you manage the uncomfortable feelings that come with being more seen. To help you move forward from being that wounded child you once was so you can fully enjoy your weight loss.
Having support also helps you maintain your weight loss as many people pile the pounds back on as they begin to comfort eat as they want their safety net back and they are unhappy with all the attention they are now receiving.
Whoever you turn to for support, remember that becoming a healthy weight is great and a brilliant goal to aim towards. Sometimes you might need a little help with the feelings that come with it. That's OK. Sometimes when we are working on our physical improvement we have to do some mental work to go with it.
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About Marilyn McKenzie
I am Marilyn McKenzie and I am a qualified Psychotherapist who has worked with Couples, Addiction, DV, Young Offending, Grief and Bereavement as well as Anxiety and Depression.
I am Integrative in my approach but often work Systemically. I have a private practise and work with Relate.