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Ask a Therapist: I’m a Fatso in a World of Barbie Dolls

A couple of years ago, I lost about 40 pounds due mostly to a supplement I was taking. I quit taking the supplement about a year ago, because info I read led me to believe it might not be safe. I have gained back most of the weight and I’m mad at myself and feel that the people who had admired me for my previous weight loss are now disappointed in me. Ironically–since I made up my mind that I was going to try again to lose the weight–I am actually thinking about food more, craving high calorie food more, and recently have started binging. I almost gag when I try on clothes or look at my body in the mirror. I’ve already been through counseling for other issues, and feel like a failure going back again. I can’t afford exercise classes o gym or weight-loss group memberships. My boss has paid for me to go to a conference this summer, but am considering backing out of going because i don’t want to deal with adorable petite colleagues, feeling self-conscious and guilty about what I’m eating, and seeing the disappointment of people that thought I was doing so well with my weight, and clothes that don’t fit right. What am I supposed to do–I’m about to give up and accept that I’m an undisciplined fatso in a world made for petite Barbie dolls.

A:  Thank you so much for writing in. So many people struggle to manage a healthy weight.  I understand the social pressure to look and appear a certain way, but you seem to be equating your weight loss and gaining it back with your worth. Just because your weight loss wasn’t successful doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Watch the video for the rest of the answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW


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