Drastic Weight Loss: What It Could Do to You Psychologically

by Samantha Cohen

So, after being fat all your life, experiencing life as torture as you are bullied, ridiculed, and you cannot do the activities you'd like to do or wear the clothes you would like to wear, you finally somehow found a way to lose a ton or two.  Congratulations - what was once fat, is now skinny.

One of the most important expectations you had, is that once you have lost the fat and become skinny, you'd be happy and gay forever more.  Perhaps you are.  However, what could drastic weight loss do to you in your head? 

Fat people sometimes experience a feeling of safety because they can keep people at a distance with their big bodies.  Literally.  This of course changes once drastic weight loss takes place, which can make such a person feel vulnerable. 

Another aspect is that the fantasy may have been too idealized:  Those daydreams that somehow everything in a fat person's life would magically improve and become perfect once they have lost the fat that is making them so unhappy.  However, it might not be as simple as all that. 

All the different people and experiences in one's life, contribute to the forming of one's identity.   These things don't all change simultaneously overnight just because you have lost some fat.  In some cases one might not necessarily even experience him/herself as different, or having a completely different life.

There is also the problem of results that don't answer to the expectations one might have had of the experience.  Perhaps you thought you'd look perfect if you became skinny, but you might just look like an empty gross bag of skin that you can't stand to look at and want to hide even more than you did your fatter body. 

Always ask yourself what is your motivation for wanting to lose fat.  Health reasons and building self esteem are good reasons among others;  however, simply to impress others or be accepted by a very unwelcoming clique, aren't - you might find that they still simply do not accept you, or care more about you now that you're not elephant-sized anymore.  Maybe they just never were where you belong.