Scared to be thin! Are you? Part one of the “fear” series.


Good morning to all and to all a good morning.  I have received a couple of emails describing a fear that is not talked about often.  It is a fear of reaching goal, of looking thin and sexy and lean and happy.  Why would this be a fear you ask?  Well, that is what I am leaping into today.    Why would a person be scared to reach goal and finally be thin.

First off, I want to say that people have fears for different reasons.  For a person without a particular fear, it may seem irrational from the outside when they are talking to a person about fears.  All the same, fears are real to each person.  They invoke real emotions and real avoidant behaviors.  Ok, with that said, I hope that we can all have some empathy when it comes to this fear whether it is a fear you have or not.

What are some of the reasons why a person might fear becoming the person that they want to be (A thin and healthy person).  Here is a random sampling of my own fears:

  • When I was fat, I was afraid of not having my “fat” excuse on my side anymore.  For so many years I had my fat problem to hide behind.  I thought that if I lost all the weight I would have to start saying YES to life.  I would have to start saying yes to going hiking, or walking, or clothes shopping.  I would have to say YES to getting in a hot tub in front of people.  I would have to say Yes to life more often where as before I always said no because I couldn’t do things or I was to embarrassed to do things.
  • When I was fat, I didn’t have to worry about the positive attention.  I was afraid that I would start to get positive attention from the opposite sex.  Sure, it is nice when people think you look good and all, but I love my wife.  The only positive attention that I got from the opposite sex was when I was not living in a way that I felt good about.  I was afraid of that new angle on things.  Also, not just from the opposite sex.  I was afraid a little about being more of the center of attention and not so invisible.  I was comfortable with being invisible when I was fat.  It is very very sad, but people now take me more seriously as if I were more intelligent and savvy on things. 
  • When I was fat, I didn’t have to worry about failing again.  I was just fat.  I felt like a failure to be sure even though I wasn’t, but I was scared to face the fact that my life had to change and I wondered if I could do it and then keep it off.  Just staying fat was easier because I already knew how to live in that state.  Getting skinny meant I had to tackle the demons that tend to bring the weight back on.  That means I had to get real with myself and make REAL changes and not just to my diet and exercise.
  • When I was fat, I knew that the people who liked me liked me for the right reasons.  If I was to lose weight, I figured I would start to experience a shift in the way people acted towards me.  It happened too.  People who did not like me before like me more now.  This sucks but it does open your eyes to people’s motives.

This was a fun post to write.  I really enjoyed it.  Are  you scared to be thin and reach your goals?  If so, why are you scared?  Do you relate to what I have written about my own fears?

If you would like to keep up with my blog, subscribe here.  You won’t regret it. 🙂

This is me 10 lbs heavier than right now

43 Responses to “Scared to be thin! Are you? Part one of the “fear” series.”

  1. 1 Ericalee
    March 5, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Jason, what an amazing post … and, I’ll admit, I was shocked to see it coming from a man!! Fear has sabotaged my weight-loss efforts over and over AND OVER again, and it’s something I’m struggling with now in the midst of an almost-50-pound weight loss (about 1/2-way to my goal). I think fear contributes to diet “relapse” much more often than people imagine. Thanks for your really wonderful insights. Keep up the great work (on all fronts!),

    • 2 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 6:43 am

      Ericalee- I am glad that the post touched your heart. I appreciate that fact that me sharing my heart touches other hearts. Man, woman, big, small, popular, un-popular, we all have many of the same issues. That is the amazing thing about people. HAHAHA We never want to share because we think we are alone but in reality we are like most others. 🙂

  2. 3 Kim
    March 5, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Dang! How come you seem to write about the things I have jsut been thinking about? I am at the point in my journey that I have made it to before and then stopped. I am at the point where the fears begin to win out and I fail yet again. So needless to say, I have been very afraid this last week that history will repeat itself. I keep thinking, Girl you have lsot 60 before…you have 13 mor elbs before you really have to worry…but if you can jsut make it to 75 then you will have lost more than you ever have before and therefore in a whole new place and maybe then you can win…I think another fear is who am I if I am not the fat girl? The one with the pretty face or the kind heart? When the weight is gone and I am jsut Kim…who the heck is that? And if she has always been about losing weight and trying to get healthy…what dreams will she have when that is no longer present? How will my realtionships change? In the past 7 years, I have begun having jsut honest friendships with guys without jealousy issues by the girlfriends of those guys…I am the safe one for their boyfriends to hang with. Will there then be the dreaded girl drama if I become a “threat”? OK…guess I might have to write my own post!

    THnaks for writing…you always write relevant stuff!

    • 4 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 6:46 am

      Thanks for your awesome contribution Kim. As always you add so much to this blog. I totally understand about getting to the place that you normal give up. I hade that point to. For me, to make it just one week beyond three months was a gigantic victory and I was so relieved that I kept going but the fear was there from the start. “Will I make it past three months????” I did and you will make it past your barriers too 🙂

  3. March 5, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I’m afraid to reach goal and eventually gain all of the weight back. I feel like its inevitable. Your fears are so real and understandable! I am glad that you pushed through those fears and have made a better life for yourself. You are an inspiration!

    • 6 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 6:47 am

      You will push through too Amanda. I just know it. You can do it. The fears are so real to us but the barriers are a figment of our imagination. Fear is the barrier. Since we have fear we just have to push through that barrier and once we hit the other side we realize that it wasn’t so bad. 🙂

  4. March 5, 2009 at 6:43 am

    The first fear has always been my biggest obstacle. In a way I quite liked being “incapable” of doing things… I could blame everything on being fat. But I’m changing!

    • 8 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 6:48 am

      Changing you are Hanlie. You will come out victorious over that fear and realize that you are capable of far more than you ever dreamed of. Thanks for stopping by

  5. 9 RobFitness
    March 5, 2009 at 8:16 am

    We all have fears and hearing yours is really refreshing , if you know what I mean. I feel that I am not the only one that has fears of losing this weight and it can be a fear that prevents us from moving forward in this journey. I have 2 fears, One being that I will react to people differently. What i am getting to and I think you mentioned this as well. How do you handle people that when your fat they won’t give you the time of day but as soon as your fit as a fiddle they come up to you and chat away. I’m afraid that I’ll have an attitude like hey you wouldn’t associate with me now, so why should I now associate with you. I am the same person inside as I was before I lost the weight and are you that superficial that you’ll talk to someone who is thinner and healthier, compared to someone that is fatter. I am the same person whether thin or fat. Hope that makes sense my friend. The other concern is that I myself will be judgmental of heavier people as well. I don’t mean to come across as arrogant or anything. It’s just that I am afraid that I’ll be like hey if I can do it so can you so why don’t you do something about it and lay off those donuts. Sounds mean I know. I am hoping that I will be supportive and encouraging to other and not the reverse. Sorry that i got carried away and I hope people don’t think less of me for expressing what could happen. Thanks man for letting me open up like this.. As always your a great guy…

    • 10 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 8:40 am

      Rob- This is a fantastic contribution man. It is so true. I am going to add to it if that is OK 🙂

      Point #1- People have and are different to me now. No doubt about it. And like you, I do have the attitude except I am very passive like and I don’t show them the attitude. I just keep it inside hidden in a place that when that person comes around I bring that thing out of hiding and tell myself, “Oh I remember you. You can’t be trusted. You are either fake or have an ethic about fat people that I don’t like. Sure I’ll be nice but you’re not getting inside. I’ll keep you on the periphrial.”
      Point #2- I am feaked out about this because I have done what you are saying. I am not doing it in a mean or negative way at all and I usually don’t speak it I just think it. I will see an over weight person who is not trying to lose weight at all and think to myself, “Oh man. look!! THey just have no idea what is possible for them. They are so defeated about the weight. I know how that is but they could get out if they wanted to. I wish they could believe..”
      Then there are the times where I see someone who asks me how I did it and what to do. They start the journey but all they want to do is make excuses as to why they don’t count their points or exercise. Again, I never say it out load but here is what I think, “Don’t you know that it won’t work if you keep acting that way. It just won’t work if you are not commited to this. This is hard work and it takes attention to your efforts to succeed. Nobody loses weight by accident and I don’t know why you think you are any different. You just need to face the truth that you have to do this or that you are not ready to do this.”

      Now this is different from how I think when I see people trying hard and are battling with the emotional demons regarding food. The journey is not easy at all, but it is possible. These people tend to mess up but also seem to own up to the fact that it was them that did it and they move on for as long as they can until the next mess up. This is how everyone does it anyway right? We go as long as we can being good, mess up, get back on track, and over and over we go and the mess ups get further apart and our good times are better then the good times before.

      I hope I made sense Rob. I am going to make this a post too.

  6. 11 RobFitness
    March 5, 2009 at 9:03 am

    It makes perfect sense, my friend and you write so well. I too don’t actually verbalize what I think or boy I would be in trouble.
    Like you said many people don’t realize how hard this whole journey is and they don’t realize that you have to put forth at times 150% of your energy , both mentally and physically to make it through this. Oh yes, there will be up and down but as you said you have to “own” them and learn from any setbacks you have.
    I do appreciate your input as well and it’s nice to know that I am not the only one that has these types of thoughts. I am a good person, as you are too, and we do our best to set a good example to others. Thanks so much for sharing your views on this as well.

    • 12 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Rob. I just posted on the blog right now. Your comment really got me thinking. It is not that it is being mean, but it is just like what you said, EFFORT. I didn’t want to put forth effort before and I did not lose weight. Once I put in the effort I was able to lose weight.

  7. 13 Ms Oblivious
    March 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Wowza! Thanks for posting this! I belive fear of some sort halted my progress a few years ago after I lost 100 pounds (and resulted in regaining 50). http://obliviously.wordpress.com/keeping-track/the-pictures/

    Honestly, still not sure how to handle peoples reactions. Is a person supposed to say, “Thank You for noticing I’m not as fat as I once was”? Hmmm. I need to work on this.

    • 14 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

      I had a person in my family that said once right before I started WW, “Hello Jason. Boy are you fat. Look how fat you got.” I hated that guy for a long time. Still don’t like him at all.

  8. 15 Rebecca
    March 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    You’ve got me thinking, so I’ll develop my thoughts about this topic and comment later, but I did want to admit that I am guilty of Rob’s Point #2. I don’t think it’s in a mean way, but I see someone who is overweight and yearn for them to have the same success I’m having. I talk with some people I know who just aren’t trying, and it frustrates me to no end.

    I think, in part, it stems from frustration that I didn’t do anything about it for so long, just suffered with being unhappy about how much I weighed, how I looked, how I felt, suffered from medical problems that I had, etc. Now that I have lost weight, I think, “Why did I not do this sooner?!” All of the things I listed above are gone (including the medical problems)!

    Like I said, I’m still thinking about this, but wanted to weigh in and admit that I do that! 🙂

  9. 17 AmyJoGo
    March 5, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Wow. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes.

    • 18 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

      Did I make you feel good or did I make you feel bad??? I hope I did not make you feel bad. Thanks for stopping by AMy

  10. 19 Teresa
    March 5, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Fear is a huge factor in both my weight gain and in my efforts at weight loss. Like Kim, I sometimes wonder who I am if not the fat girl? As much as I hate being fat, I’m comfortable here. I know how to react to people. I’m prepared for their reactions to me. I know what to expect.

    When I was thin I had a lot of opportunities to date and didn’t always have the best judgment when it came to men. I think if I were to really peel the onion back and look at what was going on in my life when I first started to gain weight, I would find that I’ve used it, at least to some extent, as a way to put some distance between me and members of the opposite sex so that I wouldn’t make any more poor judgment calls in that area of my life. Somewhere in my mind I was more ok with feeling like I had failed at keeping my weight off an valuing myself in that way than to fail at a marriage or as a parent.

    All I can say is that it has worked fabulously in that I now never have the opportunity to make any choice. I now find myself 40 years old, single, with no children and a lot of regret. I’ve not had a man show any kind of interest in me for years. Chances are that even if I were thin, I would still be 40 years old, single, and with no children–but hopefully without the regret of thinking that I forced this choice upon myself by being fat.

    Now my fear is, what happens when the weight is gone and nothing else changes in my life? Can I handle knowing that the fat really didn’t protect me from anything, but just kept me from realizing my dreams?

    Sorry to be so lengthy in all my posts! You just make me think too much 🙂

    • 20 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

      No need to apologize. You just did a beautifully written comment. i really appreciated your honesty and strength. Thanks Teresa 🙂

  11. 21 afatgirl
    March 5, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I have to say this is one of my favorite posts of yours. Absolutely. Hands Down.

    The fears you posted are pretty much my exact fears. I can’t tell you how nice it is to know that someone else has been where I am, and that they have come out on top. It really makes me feel less alone in this struggle.

    • 22 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      That is awesome. That is where the magic of growth really happens, when we open up and share. We find out, “Dang!!!:) I got friends in this fight!!:) ” I am so glad that you have been encouraged.

  12. 23 Angela
    March 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I dig you, my brudda. Thanks for this fantastic, very painful to read blog entry. I have so many things to say so I will say nothing. I think you know what that means. 🙂

  13. March 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Jason, you rock. So many people talk about the fear of failure ~ which is valid. But most people forget about the fear of success. I have been successful with weight loss in the past and gained 1/2 of what I lost back…how awful. BUT the thing is, I know how to lose weight ~ and CAN do it again. (24.5 pounds gone forever since Dec 3rd) I have the fear of success, because then I have to figure out how to live as a healthy person ~ and actually maintain my healthy weight for life (not just 2-3 years).

    Am thankful that I found your blog…it really does help me stay on track.

    Have a great night!


    • 26 run4change
      March 5, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks for adding your comment to this post Sam. I appreciate you and your thoughts. You have a good night too.

  14. 27 donna
    March 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Hey Jason love your post,but I like the scared looking face you made better,ha ha ha.

  15. 29 Riayn
    March 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Some fantastic points in this post. For me, I always give up mentally just after I start. I think to myself that I am never going to get fit and slim and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. I just doubt being able to achieve it.
    I am at the point where I am trying to make myself believe that I can do it and I can achieve my weight loss dreams after failing for over 15 years. I am hoping my new positive outlook works.

    • 30 run4change
      March 6, 2009 at 5:22 am

      I KNOW you can do it Riayn. Just never giving up is the first and most important step in making it to the finish line. Keep on keeping on my friend. 🙂

  16. March 5, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for this post. I am on my way to losing 130 pounds. I have lost 30. I have a lot of fears that have been touched upon in your post and in these comments.

    Hi Jason. Thanks for this post. I put my thoughts down in poem form. Enjoy!!

    I have been overweight most of my life.
    I’m trying to be a good mom and wife.
    But fear keeps getting in my way,
    so I continue to battle my weight everyday.

    If I lose my weight what will people say?
    Will they still talk to me and treat me the same way?
    Will I lose the friends that I used to eat with?
    Will they be jealous because I am fit?

    I heard once your thin
    people start to notice more and more
    My question is what was wrong with me before?

    Oh yeah I have a pretty face
    and a personality to match
    But now my whole package
    You think is a catch?

    Will I be able to maintain all the weight that I have lost?
    Will losing my weight be worth the cost?
    The cost of having to do all the things that I never had to do before?
    I can’t hide behind my weight working out and eating right seems like such a chore.

    To answer the question is it worth it?
    Yes it is I’ll say it quick.
    No matter it I’m treated differently by friends or my fam
    I’ll do it over and over again

    I want my kids to grow up with their mom
    I want them to think that I’m the bomb
    It does not matter about the world
    It’s all about my little boy and girl

    To be successful is a big fear
    But my mom died at age 53, she was a dear
    She was obese and not fit at all
    and now she’s missing seeing her grandkids grow up tall

    So all the fears I have will be put aside
    So I can live life to the fullest with my kids
    It will be an awesome ride.

    • 32 run4change
      March 6, 2009 at 5:24 am

      That is a beautiful and super relevant poem. I would like to make it a post if I could. I would email you but I can’t seem to get into my email for some reason. Would that be ok with you?

  17. March 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Sorry I didn’t explain my tears earlier. I’m having a hard time explaining it to myself actually. They weren’t tears because you’d said anything wrong at all though! 🙂 This thread just touched a nerve and made me examine myself in a new way. It’s a nerve that needed to be touched because the exact same thing came up at my WW meeting tonight. 🙂 (Imagine that…God speaks through you AND attends WW meetings! lol)

    I sincerely thank you for posting this and for being as vulnerable as you are with your readers.


    • 34 run4change
      March 6, 2009 at 5:26 am

      It is amazing isn’t it. God goes to my meeting too. 🙂 Omnipresence is coool. I am so glad that this post was helpful

  18. March 6, 2009 at 5:37 am

    permission granted for using my poem. I’m glad you liked it.

  19. March 6, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I am afraid of attention. Especially positive attention from guys. I avoid that like the plague.

    I am afraid of gaining it back.

    One of my biggest drivers is that my parents are overweight. My mom has MS and my dad is borderline diabetic and they were both uber healthy at my age. I’m afraid they will die young, and that history will repeat.

    • 38 run4change
      March 6, 2009 at 7:38 am

      Thanks for opening up p4. That positive can be creepy especially if the same people didn’t give it to you before.

  20. 39 PiterKokoniz
    April 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Hello !!!! ^_^
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that your posts are really interesting
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you!
    Your Piter

    • 40 run4change
      April 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      Yes, the blog is my hobby. Not related to business or anything like that. Just a nice hobby that happens to help people on their way during the health journey.

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