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Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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Appearance and Weight Gain

Not a week goes by when I don’t hear a client, message board member, or friend lamenting her appearance. The truth is that there are folks who center their lives around how they look, others whose goal is to be presentable, and still others who barely put any time and effort into what constitutes their appearance. Which type of person you are will likely predict how you feel about your weight.

If you’re a person who loves to gussy up and make a fashion statement, you might be really bothered by gaining weight. It makes sense if your appearance is of high import to you. Similarly, if you were raised to value intelligence, athletic prowess, strength of character, or creativity above all, you’re likely unduly self-critical about any perceived inadequacy in these areas. So stop and take a minute to reflect on the values you grew up with, that is, how important looks and looking good were in your upbringing.

Although there may be some of you who paid little heed to your looks until you gained weight—maybe you simply took for granted that you looked fine—my guess is that people, especially women, who were brought up with a hefty focus on looks have been sensitive to it most, if not all, of their lives. Maybe Mom or Dad was a fitness buff or clothes horse. Maybe you received the once over whenever you were about to leave the house, followed by criticism or pointers about your appearance.

If you’re someone who is really into looking good, please don’t give up because you are at a higher weight than you wish to be. I know of men and women who look grand no matter what they weigh because they enjoy a flair for fashion. I know others who barely have a lick of fashion sense, though their bodies would look great in practically anything. My point is that you don’t have to forgo looking or feeling attractive because of your weight. Think accessories, freshly ironed and dressing up-to-date. Think hair cuts and good grooming. I’m not saying that you all need to be fashionistas. I am saying that if looks are important to you, no matter what you weigh, don’t give up on yourself.

Too many people believe, “I’m fat, so why should I bother with how I look?” Well, you will have to come up with an answer to that question that will motivate you to see beyond your weight and have some fun with clothes and appearance. Being fat does not preclude looking attractive! That would be all-or-nothing thinking which is unhealthy and unproductive—right? If presentation is important to you, figure out ways to enhance your appearance and you’ll feel better about it, I guarantee.

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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy