Health and Fitness

How to Overcome Weight Obsession

Are you constantly obsessed about your weight? Are you unsure of how to stop this weight obsession? Are you looking online about how to lose weight in your face? To help understand where weight obsession stems from and how you can overcome your obsession with weight, I have interviewed psychologist, Dr. Victoria Boccanfuso.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

“I am a licensed clinical psychologist working in Tracy California. I have specialized in behavior modification for children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental retardation. I also work with clients of all ages in individual and couples therapy, focusing on mood and anxiety disorders as well as body image disorders. A small part of my practice includes child custody evaluations and co-parenting support.

What stems from weight obsession?

“It is more appropriate to look at this question in the opposite direction. Rather, what does weight obsession stem from? Beneath weight obsession is usually a problem with self-worth, self-confidence, abandonment, and/or depression. Weight obsession is often how an interpersonal struggle or another unresolved issue in these other areas would manifest.”

What type of impact does weight obsession have on someone’s overall life?

“The impact of weight obsession is seen in several areas of an individual’s life such as social, occupational, medical and psychological health, and mood (among others). Weight obsession can alienate a person from friends and family by inhibiting social interactions, such as dining out. Weight obsession may lead to corrective or compensatory eating behavior such as binging and purging or restricting. Obsession is an anxiety condition that often is not restricted to one focus (i.e. eating or food) and this anxious or obsessive behavior is witnessed in other areas to the point that it interrupts one’s ability to focus on necessary tasks at work or school. This may lead to distraction or over-focus and an inability to ‘˜let things go’.”

How can someone overcome weight obsession?

“In order to overcome weight obsession, it is crucial to explore the source of depression or anxiety. Psychodynamic psychotherapy can assist in exploring problems or struggles in the subconscious while behavioral therapy can provide healthy lifestyle changing behavior. The reason many diets and self-help programs are unsuccessful is that people do not typically learn to understand why unhealthy behavior began in the first place.”

What type of professional help is available for someone who is obsessed with their weight?

“Individual and group therapy is available through a therapist or through many health-focused programs at your local health center or hospital. Many hospitals have a resource center that can provide groups or referrals to private therapists. Many diet programs these days are beginning to employ psychologists to provide a behavior modification component to their programs. Not every person who is over or underweight has a weight obsession. It is important to not pathologize behavior without understanding its cause. Finally, it is important to remember that nothing “just happened” but to believe that we all have the power to choose how we behave and to choose to change our behavior.”

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