Is fear keeping you fat?

Hidden anxieties around weight loss are very real and can keep us “stuck” for years.

Hidden anxieties around weight loss are very real and can keep us “stuck” for years.

by Bronwyn Marmo — 

Many of us have tried to lose weight and failed, time and time again. Sure, we may drop a few pounds here and there, but mysteriously we gain them back, and then some. On a conscious level, we may blame it on a sweet tooth or lack of exercise, but there may be something going on at a deeper level that is really holding us back, and that is fear.

Hidden anxieties around weight loss are very real and can keep us “stuck” for years. They include fear of unwanted attention from the opposite sex, fear of losing friends that we used to eat with, fear of being viewed as selfish or even fear that others will have greater expectations of us when we get thin.

It does not matter whether we have 100, 50 or even 20 pounds of excess weight on our bodies; the extra pounds can serve as protection from the outside world.

What can you do to overcome this stumbling block? The first thing is to recognize the actual source of your fear. If you find that you are repeatedly sabotaging your efforts, sit quietly and focus your attention inward. When you feel peaceful and calm, ask yourself this question, “What am I afraid of?”

Several thoughts will start to come to the surface. Do not dismiss or discount any of them, even if you think it is trivial and completely unrelated. Allow your mind to keep digging deeper.

When you have completed a thorough examination, write down the thoughts that came up for you. Can you see any patterns developing? Were there any surprises? Be gentle with yourself as you discover your inner truth. Always look at yourself with loving eyes, free of judgment and attachment.

Once you have pinpointed the cause of your fear, shed some light on it by asking yourself, “Is my fear justified?” Whether it is or not, talk about it by expressing your concerns to a trusted friend, family member or professional. Be sure the discussion takes place in a safe, relaxed atmosphere where your defenses are down. Then you will be more apt to see the truth.

Once you uncover the truth, it won’t seem as scary anymore and you will be able to confront and resolve your anxieties, without turning to food for comfort.


Bronwyn Marmo conducts workshops and retreats and is the author of The Food Is A Lie: The Truth Is Within, A Spiritual Solution to Weight Loss and Balanced Health. Her wisdom and compassion come from having personally lived the life of obesity. 480-314-3333 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

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