Monday, November 5, 2007

Is overweight a cause or a consequence?

Overweight people feel each one differently about their problem according to sex, location, knowledge, experiences, environment. They may feel isolated and rejected by their peers. They may consider themselves victims of prejudice and blame overweight for everything that goes wrong in their lives. For some people, especially obese women, being overweight is an escape which unconsciously helps them to avoid situations in which they feel uncomfortable, for example those that involve active competition or relationships with the opposite sex. It would be valuable to know if overweight is a cause or a consequence of various psychological problems but the answer to this question might be similar to the one regarding what came first - the egg or the hen.
I was always looking outside myself for strength
and confidence but it comes from within. It is
there all the time. (Anna Frank)

It is easier to deal with psychological problems arising from being overweight when the reasons why excess body fat is accumulating are simple and wellknown (lack of exercise, bad nutrition). But if overweight is the result of other problems, a "self-examination" is very useful. Whatever the real problem is, it is half solved when we know the causes, the symptoms and the consequences. Medical research has repeatedly shown that informed patients get better health outcomes than non-informed patients. Likewise, you can lose weight faster if you learn more about obesity and how/why you became overweight. You can fight better someone you can see rather than a ghost.

Don't blame anyone for your overweight problem, not even yourself
You are looking for causes, reasons, origins, whatever you want to call them. You are not looking for someone to blame, not even yourself. Blaming others automatically keeps you off from solving your overweight problem by yourself - since it's someone else's fault, let them do something about it. Blaming yourself doesn't help either - it only perpetuates the destructive relationship between self-pity and overweight. So don't be dependent on others if you can. You will need the feeling of self-achievement later on. You won't like losing something you built up yourself. In my personal experience, no dietetician, health specialist, or the best weight loss program ever succeeded in building up my psychology. A psychiatrist perhaps could.
Some people say a psychiatrist replaces a good friend.

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