I have many fears. I’m afraid of spiders, snakes, the unknown, death, dark alleys, etc…but I also have fears based on my weight and my recovery. Now hear me out…I’m not saying these fears are rational, I’m just thinking I really need to work on these and possibly work through them.

I actually have a fear of losing weight. Now this one I really want to work on! I have used my fat as an armor and shield, like something to fend off unwanted sexual advances, unwanted communication with anyone or even to just physically keep a distance. I know that sounds strange to some but I know for a fact that some of you out there can totally relate to what I’m talking about.

I’m going to try and work on this and reframe this. This has been a major issue with my recovery process and now that I’m on the road to self-acceptance and no longer have the goal to lose weight, I have to approach this fear in another way.

When I first started what I thought was recovery, I thought that I needed to approach this from the standpoint that “if I start seeing that my fat is not an effective way to repel people, then I’ll be able to release it and lose the weight.” But at this point in my recovery (what I consider to be my REAL recovery) I realize that weight loss may never come and I’m ok with that…so what does that do for me when it comes to dealing with this issue? It takes the “weight” out of the issue completely.

I gotta tell ya, it’s freeing to take weight out of an issue or to make weight a non-issue.

So what does that leave me with? If I take weight out of the equation, that leaves me working on the issue of why I feel I need an armor to protect me or why I feel like I want everyone to keep their distance from me.

I think this comes from my religious upbringing (as do most of my “issues”). I was taught that I was to be “set apart” from everyone else and I was not to be like everyone else so I put up that barrier. I was also taught that sex, sexuality, nudity, wearing shorts, swimming with the opposite sex, physical attraction, etc…were taboo and not to be acted upon or addressed. I was not to draw attention to myself in any way, whether it be sexual or not. Being taught that is why I believe I formed an armor around myself. I didn’t want anyone to notice me or judge me as being promiscuous or “bad”.

What have I learned thus far? Well, I’ve figured out that I may never lose weight so I need to deal with stuff, not bringing my fat into the process. Dealing with the taboos of my upbringing are what I need to really address, not the fat.

To lose weight to fix this issue would never work. Instead, I need to address the ideals, mores and “rules” I was raised with and challenge myself to have the gumption to think as an individual and not be blindly guided (or misguided) by someone else’s ideals.

For many years, especially as a teenager and young adult, I was quite introverted and nervous around other people. I was scared to be a part of any group or club because I was to be stay to myself. When I did venture into a group of any kind like my band in high school, my voice quivered when I had to speak aloud, I would get nervous to the point of tears and the butterflies in my stomach kept me in the restroom.

Now that I’m older and in recovery and learning that my religious upbringing was detrimental to my emotional health, I’m seeing that I can change my ideals and values and not constantly fear eternal damnation. That’s what I’ve got to do in this situation. I need to reframe all of this in my mind. I’m just not quite sure how to go about doing that.

Any questions, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

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