Weight and Obesity 2017-01-23T21:32:00+00:00

Weight and Obesity

What Are My Choices?

Treatments for weight gain and obesity used to be dieting or drugs, but now the trend is weight loss surgery. Some people are thrilled with the results. Many people suffer serious side effects, lose much less weight than they hoped, or rebound to their previous weight. Even if you decide that you are going to give it a try, be sure to research this option thoroughly on your own before you take such a permanent and radical step.

Here is my professional experience with weight loss methods, from dieting to drugs to surgery:

Even if they work – just a little bit of weight lost or a lot, for a short time or a long time – as long as you are using food for emotional reasons, you will always struggle to control your weight.

Not all people gain weight for emotional reasons, but if this is you, consider how important it is to find other ways to handle your emotions. That is what therapy is for.

Call me at (314) 446-2899 or send me an email to ask questions and find out how I can help you.

Weight Loss as a Magic Answer to Life’s Problems Weight Loss as a Magic Answer

You might have come here hoping that I would have some kind of psychological secret to losing weight and keeping it off. I am sorry to disappoint you, but it is important to face the biggest obstacle to solving weight-related problems:

All weight loss efforts are experimental. Science offers no proven weight loss methods that last over time.

If you don’t believe me, you can do your own internet search for long-term outcomes of weight loss methods. Or you can just talk to your many friends and relatives who have experienced the dreaded rebound after months and months of conscientious dieting and weight loss. It’s not that they didn’t have willpower; on the contrary, they might have lost hundreds of pounds over time. But two things often happen:

1. They rebound to their previous weight, or more.
2. They find that being thin did not solve all life’s problems.

It’s not fair to expect people to accomplish something that rarely succeeds. And it’s not fair to yourself to put all the blame for life’s problems on your body.

Beware of Fat Prejudice

Of course, losing weight has many social rewards. People notice, comment, and compliment you for doing something that is very difficult. Their compliments imply that there was something wrong with you when you were fat, and now you are OK.

People gain weight for many reasons and have trouble losing it. We don’t even understand why it is so hard to lose it and keep it off. But weight gain has become a moral failing in our society. Fat people are labeled lazy, selfish, uncaring, out-of-control, and many other disrespectful, derogatory, and unfair terms.

As in any kind of prejudice such as racism, religious persecution, sexism, and homophobia, fat prejudice is basically a fear of people who are different. Sometimes we hate others for traits that we have in ourselves. As long as we cannot give a heavier person a fair chance like any other human being, we are part of his or her problem!

The first part of dealing with weight gain is reminding yourself and others that people come in all shapes and sizes and this is normal. All people deserve to be respected and treated equally, regardless of size.

Develop a Positive Body Image Develop a Positive Body Image

The next important step in dealing with weight gain is to find a way to love and respect your body at its larger size. You are not alone. People gain weight for many reasons—stress, heredity, fatigue, depression, anxiety, trauma, illness, poverty, unhealthy parenting behaviors. Some people are just naturally large and have no mental problems. Other people have dieted their way to a higher weight after many rebounds.

Let’s say you stay this size for the rest of your life. Is this failing? Are you a failure?

No. You are a person. Just like other people. And your body is the size and shape it is now for many reasons.

No matter what you decide to do about weight, you can learn to love your body unconditionally. This is a critical part of recovery from eating disorders. Think of how easy it is to overeat when you are telling yourself, “My body is hopelessly ugly so what difference does it make if I overeat?”

Start now by getting rid of all those ugly clothes in your closet. Dress yourself as if you are the most beautiful or handsome person in the world. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just act as if your body deserves love and attention because your body is you!

Call me at (314) 446-2899 or send me an email to ask questions and find out how I can help you.

Kylie Dennis, PhD, LCSW

Contact Me to ask questions and find out how I can help you.

Sign up for my Recovery Resources newsletter here:

My Recent Blog Posts

Confidential Voicemail