Monday, September 12, 2022

Obesity and low self-esteem vs. self-confidence and weight loss, latter please

Hey friends, in today's episode on how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass), I'm going to explore links between obesity and low self esteem and self-confidence and weight loss. (I'll take the latter for 500, Alex!) So if you need to lose weight, like I did, being 100 pounds overweight at one point, it's important to look at roots of weight gain and obesity. One plus-size factor is low self esteem. I'm using not only my experiences but also those of gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life." 

Participants on "My 600-lb Life" share several things besides morbid obesity: low self esteem, zero self confidence and what Reddit would call weaponized incompetence (more on that later). Patients seeking gastric bypass surgery may come over as arrogant, pushy and controlling (that's part of the weaponized incompetence). That's to cover the helplessness and hopelessness they feel. I know the feeling of being overweight, out of control and powerless to do anything about it. 

So, in a way, it's true. Al-Anon teaches us that we are powerless over people places and things. But in this, Al-Anon references things outside ourselves that we seek to control. Within ourselves, we can find power to manage choices and behaviors. In fact, Al-Anon says that's all we can control. I can choose calorie restricting, intermittent fasting or some kind of weight loss diet to manage obesity. I can lose weight, if I'm willing to do the work involved. 

However, as "My 600-lb Life" shows, that sense of powerlessness, stemming from low to zero self esteem, that powers obesity and prevents weight loss. Gastric bypass patients tell and definitely show, that they having no control over eating. It's like someone is force feeding them. One of my clients is morbidly obese. He literally pounds one beer after another and downs plates of food as if an external force controls his hands. Yes, it's heart-breaking. But, I have another client who was morbidly obese and was able to lose weight. And the difference, that I can see, is self-confidence. The former lacks it and the other has it. 

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to discover self confidence. I won't say rediscover because I never had it nor learned it. So how to learn self confidence? By talking back to the voices in my head that say I'm helpless and hopeless. It's a slow process but as As Al-Anon advises, I fake it till I make it. I also watch others who are confident and try to imitate them. I referred earlier to Cobra Kai weight loss strategies. One thing we know Cobra Kai has is confidence (although as we're seeing, all in Cobra Kai had to develop it. It didn't come naturally.) 

Stay tuned for more on this because volumes can be written about the links between obesity and low self esteem and self-confidence and weight loss. 

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