There is a myth about weight loss floating across the globe that no one even thinks about. Most think that losing weight is an open and shut case; you eat healthy, you exercise and you lose weight right??? WRONG! The true reality is that obesity is 60% mental and 40% physical. For all those involved in the fitness industry; they know that they are not merely someone who helps you shed pounds, but rather someone who counsels you while you adapt to your body and accept the new person you are becoming inside and out.
So, what happens if you lose the weight, become a different person on the exterior, yet still feel that you are the overweight person you used to be? This could mean disaster, which sends you right back to the beginning of your journey. Read this brilliant article from MSNBC.com and overcome your “Phantom Fat!”
Body-image experts say it’s not uncommon for people, especially women, who have lost a lot of weight to be disappointed to some extent to discover that they still aren’t “perfect.” The excess fat is gone when they reach their goal weight, but they may have sagging skin, cellulite or a body shape that they still deem undesirable. Like Hicks, some even continue to see themselves as though they are overweight.
Some specialists use the term “phantom fat” to refer to this phenomenon of feeling fat and unacceptable after weight loss.
“People who were formerly overweight often still carry that internal image, perception, with them,” says Elayne Daniels, a psychologist in Canton, Mass., who specializes in body-image issues. “They literally feel as if they’re in a large body still.”
Daniels and other experts suspect this may happen because the brain hasn’t “caught up” with the new, leaner body, particularly for people who were obese for many years and then experienced rapid weight loss.
“Body image is a lot harder to change than the actual physical body is,” Daniels says (source).
Not only do people suffer from body image issues, they also doubt that their results will last. The ups and downs of dieting mean that most have lost weight in the past, only to gain it back. This fear of not succeeding while others are watching can be too much for some to handle.
The real answer to lasting weight loss doesn’t have to do with your calorie intake, or your exercise routine. Rather it relies on YOU, to get rid of all the negative things, all the hateful things you say to yourself day in and day out. Here’s a tip I give to my clients when I hear them do negative self talk…. for every bad thing they say to themselves aloud or in their head, they have to reverse it with something positive. Over time, all the positive talk with help you overcome your negative outlook on body image. Also, when you are trying to change your life for the better; it is important to surround yourself with positive people who give you encouragement. All toxic relationships should be avoided or be taken care of.
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)