I was *** beginning last year. I began to lose weight in July and subsequently drop to just *** now. I was very happy that I have lost some weight as I have been praying for it. However, recently I have begun to fear eating too much, afraid that I may put back what I have lost. I weigh myself everyday to ensure that I don’t put on weight from what I ate the day before. This is driving me crazy as I do love to eat but if I eat too much (people say that I am actually eating very little) I will feel guilty and will tend to go on a fruit diet for lunch or drink shake for dinner or skip a meal. I am afraid I will gain back weight I have lost. I exercise everyday, if I miss a session I feel very bad about it. Oh, please help me….. Janice
I’m glad you wrote to us because you are clearly slipping into some unhealthy patterns regarding food and weight. Seeking help is a crucial first step in redirecting your life, and I commend you for it!
First, let’s talk about your weight preoccupation. You have come to define success each day by a number on the scale. In fact, our body weight fluctuates on a daily basis, mostly due to fluid shifts. (See “Heaviness and Weight Gain Explained.”) So, when you weigh yourself frequently, you’re not getting a measure of true health—just body water changes. In addition, muscle weighs more than fat so as you exercise and become more fit, the number on the scale may go up, even though your body is more toned and healthier.
What’s more important, however, is that your focus on body weight is draining the joy out of eating—and life. It is making you anxious and is leading to detrimental practices such as severely restricting or skipping meals. It also sounds like you are exercising out of fear, rather than to support good health and relieve stress. No wonder you are feeling miserable!
I highly recommend that you be evaluated by a registered dietitian who specializes in disordered eating. (See “Finding a Nutritionist.”) She can guide you onto a path of joyful eating, so you can be at the healthiest weight for your body type—without worry. I’d also recommend that you read Constance’s book, Life Inside the “Thin” Cage, for added support and insight.
Once you put food and body weight in proper perspective in your life, you are going feel so much freer!