I'm Terrified of Gaining Weight. (Is This You? Read on...)
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“I’m Terrified of Gaining Weight!” (Is This You? Read on…)

Letting go of food rules, ditching the diet, and learning to be a “normal” eater are all fine and dandy…until the ole “but what if I gain weight?!” thought in the back of your mind is screaming at you to just CUT OUT THE CARBS or else you’ll spiral out of control!

Sound familiar?

I mean, the reason we’re dieting, counting calories and desperately trying to maintain some semblance of control around our food is because we’re terrified of gaining weight if we don’t micro-manage our choices!

So how do you reconcile these two opposing thoughts: the fear of gaining weight and the desire to eat normally?

Here are the 3 things I want you to remember when the “but I’m terrified of gaining weight” thought pops back in your brain:


  1. We are born trusting our bodies.

Each of us is born knowing how to eat. We start our lives off knowing when we’re hungry, “hearing” when we’re full, and being able to leave food on our plate if we aren’t hungry.  We’re born with an internal guidance inside of us…the wisdom that knows how to take care of ourselves.

Look at little kids. They don’t have to think about if they’re hungry, they just know. They don’t analyze if they’re full, they just get up and leave the table. Food has its place: when something more important (like building a fort in between the couches) comes up, they get up from their meal, move on and don’t obsess over how much they ate.

YOU have that same internal wisdom. It’s just gotten lost over the years 🙂 Body trust IS there…it’s just buried under years of not listening. (And I promise, you are NOT the exception to the rule 🙂 We are ALL are born with this sense of trust).

Begin your day with the belief that your body knows. It may take some time to hear, understand and listen to what it’s saying, but it is there and will guide you if you let it.

  1. Your body WANTS to be at a natural weight.

Our bodies don’t WANT to carry around excess weight. They want to be at a weight that is comfortable and easy and natural to maintain. I’m not saying your body needs or wants to be a size two. What I’m saying is that YOUR body has a weight that is perfect for your body. It’s as natural as breathing.

I like to think of weight loss as “releasing weight”. Because when you are in balance, your body will release its excess weight. Think of animals. Nothing in nature is overweight. Each animal survives on what it needs and doesn’t carry any excess. We are also a part of nature. And so our body’s natural state is balance.

When you’re working towards finding freedom around food, it can be terrifying to wonder if you’ll ever lose weight (or if you lose weight, keep it off for good!). But when you make choices for HEALTH and not weight loss, you’ll naturally begin to bring your body back into balance.

  1. You can’t gain 100 pounds overnight.

I used to be terrified that when I’d binge, I’d literally wake up and be a big blimp. I was so desperately afraid of this that I’d think about it for hours on end. Think about this logically for a second though. Even if you ate an entire bag of cookies, are you really going to wake up and be massively larger than the day before? No.

Maybe we look in the mirror after and think we’re fatter or feel bloated. BUT…we literally can’t gain 100 pounds overnight. When our “crazy brain” (as I like to call it) starts to scream and yell at us, it can help to talk rationally to it. This is what I used to do when this fear came up. I’d tell myself, that rationally and logically, there was NO WAY that the 4 pieces of cake I just ate would cause me to gain 15 pounds by tomorrow.

Being terrified of gaining weight can be a very debilitating fear. It can really impede your progress because it stems from the belief that we can’t trust ourselves and we must be controlled.  Remembering these 3 things can help the next time this pops into your head!

Tell me-is this something you struggle with? Can you begin to incorporate one of these 3 tips into your coming week to help combat your fear? Share in the comments below 🙂

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  • This is SO TRUE. Because of my physical limitations regarding activities that really burn calories, I live with this all the time, especially since I changed jobs. My old office was in an old building and I had to go up and down a flight of stairs every time I wanted to use the bathroom or get water, and because we had a little “campus,” I was always running from building to building. NOW? I have much less stress and a happier situation, but I’m a VEAL and my office is in an industrial area completely unsuited to a quick walk around the block — no shade (Ft. Lauderdale), no sidewalks…. the opposite of pedestrian friendly. Once our evening thunderstorms stop, I’m going to walk at home at night, but it’s impossible most nights right now. And I KNOW I’ve gained weight since I started this new job. And I HATE THAT. Not much, but it’s all in my belly, where it’s MOST attractive. 🙁

  • I totally get it..it’s not a fun place to be when you’ve gained weight but are still trying to let go of dieting and be “normal” around food. The MOST important piece of this though, is to keep choosing for HEALTH and to nourish and take care of yourself. When you can shift out of the fixation on weight (it may take shifting out of it 23423 times a day at first), and into how you’re taking care of YOU, you begin to notice that THAT becomes more important. (I’ve also written a good post on what to do when you HAVE gained weight a few months ago!) XOXO

  • Absolutely this is me. I have a very adversarial relationship with food and have all my adult life (as this is when I started gaining weight). Everything that goes in my mouth is measured against some alleged expert’s recommendation of what I should or shouldn’t eat. Potatoes or rice? Never touch them. Should I have cereal for breakfast? H*** no! It’d put me into carb overload! Even my whole grain bread has been vilified by a notable doctor, with others jumping on that wagon. Look at women’s magazines. Hardly a month goes by that nearly everyone of them won’t have a headline on their cover proposing the latest “miracle, sure-fire” way to lose a lot of weight, usually quickly and easily. Food – to those of us who are overweight – is no longer meant to be savored and enjoyed, but rather to be scrutinized and demonized because it might cause additional weight gain.

  • Yep…there is SO much info out there on what’s “right” and “wrong”, no wonder everyone is confused! Food IS meant to be savored and enjoyed; we’ve got it all backwards! The way to doing something long term is to LIKE what you’re eating…because who wants to eat celery stinks and baked chicken forever? Certainly not me 🙂 Keep finding what works for YOU…not what some expert tells you. Our body’s know…it’s just learning to listen and to trust them after so many years of not hearing what they say 🙂

  • I’ve definitely gained a few pounds within the last month, and I’m convinced it was due to my birth control. I feel like ever since I came back from school for this last semester, my weight has been up and down and sideways! I’m eating the same foods and the same amounts of food, but I know I’ve been consciously trying to eat more healthy fats and omega-3s. Do you think it could be stress too?? I just went off my birth control pill so I’m seeing if that makes a difference. It’s definitely been a struggle for me. I don’t know if my body is trying to find its natural weight, (or maybe this is my natural weight, but I did have a history with an eating disorder and restricting. I just don’t feel like myself! I’d love to hear your thoughts, Jenn!

  • I really needed to read this! Especially number two! I can trust that my body knows what it needs but I was horrified of the “set point theory” meaning I will stay fat forever. Reading that my body will regulate itself to a reasonable weight instead of just staying with the excess is really reassuring! Thank you ❤

  • Birth control, hormones and stress can definitely impact weight! That’s what’s so interesting about weight…we think it’s just calories in, calories out, but there is so much that goes into our weight (hormones, stress, metabolism, exercise, bone density, seasons, life, etc)! I do think that the body can be in a rebalancing phase at first when it’s looking to find it’s new “normal”.

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