Zip Code:
  
Provider Type:
Provider:
        Listings:
          Health

          When Losing Weight Causes Anxiety

          July 13, 2005

          If you thought that losing weight would solve all your problems and eliminate your insecurities, you probably found out the hard way that fixing external issues doesn’t fix internal issues. In fact, losing a lot of weight quickly can intensify anxiety. Dr. Phil offers the following advice.

          • If you’re experiencing disappointment about your weight loss, you may have had unrealistic expectancies. For example, what you could have expected was to feel healthier, more energetic, to lower your risk of diabetes or other diseases that are related to obesity. Unrealistic expectancies can include eliminating your insecurities, changing the way you feel about yourself and the world, etc.
          • If the anxieties you felt while you were overweight have been amplified by your weight loss, ask yourself if you gained weight for a reason. Was the weight just a symptom of something going on inside you? Were you using excess weight as a pay off?
          • Decide if you were medicating yourself with food. Overeating can provide comfort by pushing down anxieties and insecurities. It can be a coping mechanism. When you eat in a healthy manner and don’t allow yourself to overeat, you take that unhealthy coping mechanism away. All of the anxiety you’ve felt is still there, but you don’t have the tool (overeating) to cope with it anymore. It’s no wonder that the anxieties start bubbling back up again.
          • Realize that you’ve got the same problems you had when you were overweight; you’re just in a smaller body. Now you don’t have a tool to fend it off and “self medicate.”
          • Understand that while it’s important to manage your external environment (your weight), it’s just as crucial that you manage your internal environment (your fears and anxieties).

          Try this exercise designed to help you uncover and manage your internal feelings relating to food and weight.

          FROM THE SHOW

          Tell Us Your Story

          Be on the Show! Text “PHIL” to 88500
          Be on the Show

          Know A Police Officer Making A Difference?

          Do you know a police officer or department that is making a real difference in their community?

          Be on the Show

          I’ve Beat Lung Cancer, But What’s Next?

          Are you an early-stage lung cancer survivor in remission?

          Be on the Show

          Is Anger Ruining Your Life?

          Are you being verbally and emotionally abused daily by a spouse or family member?

          Help & Resources

          Find Treatment Centers and Therapists!

          Check out the mental health treatment programs that have assisted Dr. Phil guests.

          Feeding America

          Learn how you can help feed a child this summer.

          Be on the Show

          Have a Story Dr. Phil Won’t Believe?

          Want to appear on Dr. Phil? Text PHIL to 88500