Loss Aversion

I have reached an ambivalent state in my weight loss process. I am so accustomed to 16 years of heaviness. It’s interesting to note that I didn’t gain all this weight until I met Hub and life improved in many ways — materially and psychologically. Until this morning I haven’t understood what happens, why I give up and regain.

It’s this: if I follow this discipline, lose weight, become strong, healthy, active, I connect with Life so big and powerful coming through me that scares me. I have historically protected myself from the heartbreak of loss by making my life harder and smaller. And maybe this is what’s going on. Being overweight reduces my life, so that when I someday get ill and die, I won’t be as heartbroken to go. AND… all this weight is protection to “balance out” how my life has improved. Since meeting Hub, life became so much richer, so I’ve protected myself from fear of loss (what if it all goes away?) by gaining weight. Yes, it’s illogical, and it’s what is true for me.

Early in life, my father had the power to take away what I wanted. As an adult on my own, struggling with underemployment, circumstances had the power to take away what I wanted. I learned to protect myself. And, in spite of the impulse to protect myself, I also forged ahead with goals. I experienced hardships, I persevered, and life has generally improved for me in the past 20 years. But that pattern remains. I notice it regarding intimacy in my marriage (avoid), in how I manage friendships (retreat and end them when I feel vulnerable or dynamics change), career (avoid positions of risk and responsibility), and this morning, realizing how it affects my health.

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One Comment on “Loss Aversion”

  1. Amy Says:

    Thank you for your brave exploration and sharing.