The fear of getting fat again can be a good thing

The Sha of Fear in World of Warcraft - the Sha of the fear of getting fat again, more like it
Halloween is my favorite time of the year. My wife and I were married on Halloween. I love being scared silly by haunted attractions and letting actors dressed as zombies and werewolves jump out at us to get our blood flowing and our adrenaline pumping.

One of my favorites is a fantastic haunted corn maze that hosted an airsoft zombie hunt. It is super awesome.

But I am never scared. I laugh and run and shoot and have a dandy time with my friends.

Because, you see, I’m not scared of monsters, ghouls, and ghosts. I love them, but I’m not afraid of them. My biggest fear isn’t something popping out of the shadows and darkness to eat my brains.

My biggest fear is gaining all my weight back. I’m haunted by the fear of getting fat again.

First off, I know the fear of getting fat again is irrational

In the back of my mind, I know it’s. I run, I lift, and I cycle. I eat well and healthfully, avoiding artificial sweeteners, processed products, and soda whenever I can.

But every single day something inside me tells me that if I ever slack up, if I ever don’t work out, I’ll get fat again. That all 150 pounds are going to suddenly and magically reappear as though they were never gone. That somehow the health and quality of life that I’ve built for myself over the past three years will deteriorate, and I’ll go back to being unhealthy and on my way to an early grave.


The fear of getting fat again is strong enough that I consistently eat well and exercise somehow every single day to keep that from happening–even when I don’t necessarily want to and even though I know that such magical and massive weight gain can’t and won’t happen.

I know that a few weeks of poor eating and not regularly exercising won’t make me fat again.

I know that.

But I’m terrified of it, anyway.

Use that fear

running from fat because of the fear of getting fat again

Here’s the thing, though: I don’t dwell on that fear. I don’t let that fear make my life miserable. I’m not so afraid that I won’t enjoy my life, and I’m not so afraid that I stop enjoying my workouts and become sore just to burn an extra 150 calories a day.

What I do is use the fear of getting fat again to motivate me like it’s a 28 Days Later zombie chasing me. I let it push me into healthy habits. I let it motivate me just to do something on days I don’t want to do anything.

What I don’t do, however, is let that fear motivate me into hating myself or feeling bad about my accomplishments. I don’t live my life worrying about every single calorie that goes into my mouth. I don’t let that irrational fear push me harder and farther than I know I should go and risk injury.

I use that fear as a motivator. I let the fear of getting fat again guide me and remind me of the life I never want to return to. Then I make healthy choices to avoid that life.

I take the irrational fear and do something rational with it–I live a healthy, well-rounded life doing things I love with people I love.

Because in the end, I’ve made a choice to live a good life.

Gaining my weight back is a very real possibility if I stop living well and being active. But it’s not going to be overnight. It’s not going to be an immediate consequence. I’m not going to eat a hamburger and balloon back up to 300+ pounds. I’d have to be pretty hardcore to gain 150 pounds.

And I’m pretty sure I’d notice that I was getting fat long before I hit the 300-pound mark again. I’d notice, and then I’d do something about it. I’ve done it before, and I know I’ll do it again.

I’m just scared.

Not because I think I’ll fail. If I ever get fat again, I know that I will be able to lose that weight. Because I know how to live a good, healthy, active life.

No, the fear of getting fat again follows me around because I’m happy how I am today. I’m happy because I’m healthy. I’m happy because I have made a great lifestyle change and beat the odds, and I don’t ever want that to change.

So yeah. That’s my biggest, most irrational fear. That I will one day I will just be fat again. It’s impossible, I realize, but it’s a good motivator to keep myself on the right path (though my counselor tells me that using fear as a motivator is unhealthy, but that’s a post for a different time, am I right?)

The fear of getting fat again is my own personal ghoul, but what’s yours? Let me know at @geekfitnesscast on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!




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  1. Mike Sweetman

    Hey Bj, just discovered your blog, and must say your journey was incredible. I’d love to hear an update on how things are going for you?

    I think this post really touches on the most important part of developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle change…mindset. Determination to change and maintain a healthy lifestyle is the most underrated element of permanent weight loss. I look forward to an update!

  2. nippone

    Oո peut dire que ce n’est pas erroné !!


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You can also hear more of Beej on the Dragon Quest FM podcast every Friday morning!

He also has some really awesome sci-fi and fantasy novels that you should totally buy.


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