Losing Weight Sometimes A Matter of Fear


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“Because I didn’t want to be seen as weak again.”

“Because the medicine made me so sick and I couldn’t stop losing weight.”

“Because doctors told me I was too skinny.”

Every day people are judging themselves and comparing themselves to smaller and skinnier people. But what about those people who you are judging yourself to, what pain are they going through?

Nearly 45 million Americans begin to diet every year, and spend up over $30 billion doing it, according to Boston Medical’s website about nutrition and weight management. Nearly two thirds of Americans are considered obese, which could lead to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. a

The following three individuals all have a similar fear of their body but in different ways. They all fear losing weight, which to you might seem outrageous. Why would you not want to be that skinny model in the beauty magazine?

Few talk about the opposite end of the weight bias. While there’s a word for the fear of gaining weight; it’s called Pocrescophobia. The fear of losing weight, if you try to google it will take you to a bunch of articles about why you shouldn’t be afraid of losing weight.

Laura is a happy girl with a boyfriend, a job, and she has a loving family. She also is petrified of losing weight.

Her fear stems from her first ex-boyfriend.

Things went down, and it was ugly. She wasn’t eating properly, and she had gained 50 pounds by the time it was over.

She pushed it off to normal stuff, from just being hungry to water weight to feminine gain from her period.

She thought the weight gain was normal and didn’t think much about it.

But as time went on and she moved away from that horrible relationship and blossomed into a new person, some weight started coming off.

Laura panicked. It scared her. She started caving in on herself. She connected the dots that if she lost weight, she would be used again.

While Laura wants to lose weight, the fear still holds her back.

“Being the weight [I am] now still makes me feel as if I’m safe and won’t get hurt again.”

Katie Rickel’s is a Ph.D. who has spoken about diet practices on the Dr. Oz show. On a blog entry titled, “Is Fear Making You Keep the Weight On?” she talks about how today’s society has a view of a smaller frame being the sexual image, that people who don’t fit that cookie-cutter while not be looked or approach as often.

Rickel states that fear keeps some from wanting to lose weight, because some are afraid of losing their identify and creating a new one, fear of heightened expectations and fear of attractiveness and attention from others.

Web MD offered suggestions as to why some to struggle with wanting to lose weight. It lists fear of regaining the weight, the feeling of possible defeat, wanting to giving up and adapting to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Maddie didn’t always have a problem with losing weight.

She is 5’3” and weighs 90 pounds. A few years ago, she was 130 pounds and got Lyme through a tick bite. For 21 days, she took medication to beat the disease.

“It was awful every time I took it I got violently ill and would rush to the bathroom.”

The medication and the illness after taking caused her to lose 35 pounds in the first week of treatment.

She was weak. She was scared. She thought she would die.

By the end of the 21 days, she weighed 80 pounds. She tried to get put on another medication but the doctors wouldn’t give her anything. She has a hard time gaining weight, but she gives it her all and has got to her weight goal.

She eats all day and has a high protein diet to help her gain weight.

She also uses a fitness pal to feel safe and follow up on her calorie count to meet her weight gain goal. Anytime she loses weight, she goes back to feeling sick and panics that she will die.

When asked what her advice was for others in a similar situation, she had this to say, “Worrying is not worth it and everything will be okay but if you are that worried go to a doctor and get a check-up just in case.”

Ana has spent her whole life fearing her weight.

“You are too skinny.”

She was gone.

Tumbling, Tumbling, Tumbling.

As she grew older, she became so fixated on her weight that she wouldn’t let her body naturally fluctuate. She is still nervous and worries about her weight. Although, she is getting help and talks to friends and therapist about it.
These three lovely women struggle with being too skinny or the thought of being too skinny.
When approached and asked it surprised them that there were others like them, they thought they were alone.