Picture This!

It’s common to avoid situations that may make you feel worse about yourself.  You may fear you will not do well in a weight loss program.  Fear of failure is very common.  For example, before some major sports competitions, some athletes injure themselves on purpose or unconsciously to avoid having to compete.  Such athletes are so traumatized by their fear of failure that they’d rather find an excuse not to compete than risk losing.  Trying to escape from reality is not really the answer, certainly for the long term.  Failing at something does not mean you are a failure as a person!  To err is human. 

As far as carrying extra pounds goes, you may fear situations such as going to parties or shopping for clothes. A common fear, for example, is buying or appearing in a bathing suit. In order to feel better about yourself, you need to take steps to face the situations. Start out with one small step, such as looking at catalogs or going online to look at suits that would fit you. Picture yourself at the pool, getting easy healthy exercise and chatting with other swimmers. Next, go to the store and try on a few suits. You have no obligation to buy it, just try it on and close your eyes to picture yourself at the pool again. Open your eyes and smile (no matter how you feel!) into the mirror. The next step is to actually purchase a suit. Make sure you try it on again and smile at yourself, even if you feel like crying. The day after you buy it, wear it around your house for a short period (about 15 to 30 minutes). Make sure you look in the mirror and smile, even if you don't like what you see yet. After a few days, try wearing it in front of a spouse, friend, or family member. Then, the next step would be to find a pool location that’s not too crowded or where you don't know anyone. Take a dip! Stretch and feel the success! When you change out of your suit, think about something that makes you very happy. Repeat! In time you will feel more comfortable when more people are there. Step by step, you will feel more comfortable seeing yourself in the bathing suit and being around other people. This is how we relearn to love ourselves...step by step. Before you know it, it will be time to enjoy yourself on a crowded beach.

At Physicians Weight Loss Centers in Fairfax we understand fear and avoidance and are trained to help you manage progress, whether your goal is to reach a certain weight or BMI by your birthday or just enjoy your summer vacation even before you reach your weight loss goal. Taking steps to face your fears will help you feel better about yourself, even if they are baby steps. The wonderful thing is that the sooner you start to feel better about yourself the faster you will lose weight on your Physicians Weight Loss Centers program.

Susan Malzone, Nutritional Director, Physicians Weight Loss Centers in Ashburn & Fairfax, VA

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