Do you remember the e-mail I got from Joey in which she told us she suffered from obsessive health behavior and fear of gaining weight? In this article I get back to her e-mail with useful tips to help her break her unhealthy behavior. Additionally, I share tips from readers who recognized themselves in the story of Joey.
(c) image: Evelina Zacharlou/Flickr CC
Need for recognition
When you get into a situation like Joey, it’s nice if you can find recognition from others. It makes you realize that you’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact this fear and obsession are actually rooted in perfectionism and a desire to perform as well as possible.
That drive and motivation that you possess adorns can come in handy, for example at work. In addition, this personality trait adorns you as you are probably someone who feels closely involved with friends and family.
In this case, however, your perfectionism hinders you. It makes you experience stress and anxiety and have the feeling of facing an enormous wall of workouts and diet rules. You realize that this can’t continue this way. Quitting your obsessive behavior unfortunately isnn’t going to happen overnight and you can’t just turn off your fear of gaining weight, even though you probably realise that fear isn’t realistic.
Quit cold turkey
So how to stop these feelings of anxiety and stress and your obsessive behavior? I have experienced a bit of the same problems last year. In the article “How do you train your fat percentage as low as possible?” I told about my obsession with my body fat percentage ad why I stopped monitoring it. In addition, I felt an almost continuous pressure to workout.
(c) Lewis Meyer/Flickr CC
When we decided we wanted to have a child and become pregnant that same year, I stopped cold turkey with monitoring my body fat percentage and halved the number of days I worked out. That pregnancy was a good motivation for me to review my own health behavior.
I was able to stand back and look at my behavior because I looked through the eyes of my future child and not through my own eyes. All I wanted was the best for my future child and – to begin with – my desire to become pregnant. Up until today (I am now 28.5 weeks pregnant), I can let go of obsessive behavior and the pressure to exercise has completely disappeared.
On top of the wall
As for me there was a direct physical necessity to change my health behavior. But how to stop obsessive health behavior if there is no direct physical necessity like a pregnancy? How do you stop irrational thoughts that you will gain weight if you’d moderate your health behavior?
I have listed my most important tips on the next page. In addition, I’ve included some tips from involved readers.