Overcoming Weight Loss Fear (Mindset Shift)

Several years ago, a TBYT reader named “Sheila” (name changed) wrote a public comment about her weight loss fear. When I read it, I related.

I too once feared that releasing excess weight would remove my “emotional insulation,” make me more vulnerable, and change me into someone that others would not like (more about that later).

weight loss fear

“Sheila” wrote:

“Do you really answer these emails? Are you for real? Was that really you in that before “fat” photo? How long did that take?

What is the purpose of losing weight when we all meet the same end anyway? I am morbidly obese and I have been watching thin and fat folks most of my almost 43 years and I can tell you that there is no difference in us. If people truly knew what was within me that my fatness holds back, they would prefer me fat!”

I prayed about my response. In Proverbs 18:13, the Bible says that it is foolish to try to provide answers without understanding the problem:

He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

– Proverbs 18:13

When I wrote “Sheila” back, I felt the Holy Spirit gave me insight into the weight loss fear issue. My heart-felt response is below, transparent about the fears I faced and overcame.

My Response:

Hi “Sheila”,

I can tell you are passionate about this subject, and you certainly have many questions!

Since I am responding to this post, that answers the “Are you real?” question 🙂

Yes, that is me in the “Before” picture. It took me 18 months between the before and after photo, but that wasn’t consecutive.

Instead, I lost 70 pounds my first year and then lost the rest in 2-5 pound increments to reach my final weight loss goal.

You asked an interesting question: “What is the purpose of losing weight when we all meet the same end anyway?”

Here are my thoughts:

Everyone has a beginning (birth) and an end (death). Life is the part that happens in the middle.

How we choose to go through “the middle” is up to us. I spent over 20 years obese, seriously impacting my middle, literally and figuratively!

  • I had low energy and tiredness; I felt self-conscious about my size.
  • I felt out of control with my eating.
  • I worried about whether I was going to fit into certain chairs.
  • I felt squeezed into airline, sporting events, and movie theater seats.
  • I couldn’t ride certain amusement park rides because the seat belt wouldn’t fit around me.
  • I had high blood pressure problems and had to be on expensive medication, which made me feel worse than the high blood pressure.
  • I had frequent bouts of depression and seething anger inside.

That was my life before – my middle.

It took chest pain to make me say, “enough is enough.” I decided I wanted a different story than the one I was living.

My love of sweets, fast food, and junk food was not worth continuing to trade the quality of my life over.

God gave me many other good food choices, and I was going to focus on those so that I could gain the health and energy I needed to fulfill His purpose.

Everybody has to make that choice for themselves, though.

I ultimately figured out that it wasn’t about the weight but how I managed my life. Or, in my case, not managing it but hiding out in food.

I don’t believe that God cares what you weigh. I don’t think He is up in heaven with a scale and tape measure, fretting if you gain a pound or two. I believe He leaves the size we choose to maintain up to us, much like our hairstyle or clothing choices.

I only know of 2 people mentioned in the Bible that were obese – one of them was Eli, God’s priest. God never condemned Eli for his weight. 

Instead, He admonished Eli because Eli refused to control his corrupt sons.

God always deals with people on the heart level rather than appearance. But the heart is what people most resist surrendering to God.

Instead, they focus on the outside to look good before others.

In my case, I did decide to surrender my heart to God so that He could heal my depression and anger. The process wasn’t easy as God worked on changing me from the inside out. But what freedom as He loved me through the healing process!

I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

I found it interesting that you said, “If people truly knew what was within me that my fatness holds back, they would prefer me fat!” Wow. That is a very telling statement.

Here are some weight loss fears I had to confront:

  • I was once afraid to lose weight because of attention I might receive.
  • I feared I would become like Alexis Carrington, the villain from the old T.V. show Dynasty. I thought I would become someone I didn’t like.
  • Finally, being a single woman at the time, I was scared I would turn into a “loose” woman!

None of that happened.

I did not shed my morals along with my excess fat. But what did happen was that I stopped being passive and letting people walk all over me. I stopped being a people pleaser.

And you know what? I discovered that you could stand up for yourself without being nasty!

You can treat people with love and respect but still say “no” and set boundaries. God taught me to balance my weight loss process.

So you see, “Sheila”, you choose how you will live. If you are content with your weight and life, then who am I to tell you anything different?

You are an adult. God gave us all free will. I pray that you live with no regrets once you reach the end of this life’s journey.

One thing is for sure, though. If you never make another right decision in your life or never do anything right again, you have already made the most critical right decision – accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.

God loves and accepts you on that basis alone. Everything else pales in comparison to the richness of that relationship.

That is the essence of life anyway.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

– John 17:3

God bless you!

Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,

Kimberly Taylor

Author/Guide of the Take Back Your Temple Christian Weight Loss Community

P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!

Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my weight loss journey; I lost 85 pounds and dropped from a size 22 to an 8.

In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple Community), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.

Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple Christian Weight Loss Community.

About the author 

Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a certified Christian life coach and has a heart to help others struggling with emotional eating and weight loss. Once 240 pounds and a size 22, she can testify of God’s goodness and healing power to overcome. She lost 85 pounds as a result of implementing techniques to overcome emotional eating and binge eating disorder.

Kim is the author of "The Take Back Your Temple Program," which teaches Christians how to take control of their weight God's way and the books "The Weight Loss Scriptures" and "The Weight Loss Prayers."

Kim has been featured in Prevention Magazine, Charisma Magazine and on CBN’s 'The 700 Club' television program.

  • This was really powerful and insightful, Kim. I had not realized how much fear impacts me and impedes progress.

    • Glad that opened your eyes, Danielle! The key to overcoming fear is to remind yourself that the Lord is with you, no matter what challenge comes your way: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).”

    • The short answer is because no one has posted to the article of late (excluding you of course).

      To expound:
      The articles Kim writes are “Time-Tested” and continue to bless many people, as this one has probably blessed you even though it has been written several years ago.

      We do not require or insist anyone post a comment to the articles although “MANY” choose to write to Kim personally rather than share their comments publicly.

      Those who happen to join the TBYT Program find the private community a haven of conversation and viewpoints and reserve their comments for posting there.

      Mike Taylor
      TBYT Virtual Assistant

      To God be the Glory!

  • Thank you for sharing this post. I was truly blessed as I read the comment and response. I am now on my way to lose weight. Praise God for I know I will be healed emotionally, physically, and in my soul to lose weight and maintain it through Christ Jesus!!!

  • Kimberly, I have been looking at your website for several weeks now, I downloaded the e-book and read it. I keep going back to the site thinking that I’m going to sign up for your program but haven’t yet. I am 66 years old and I feel like I am going to die from obesity. I literally feel like I am going to smother myself to death. I know of all the complications that obesity can cause. I am experiencing a number of those things already. I have lost tremendous amounts of weight throughout the past 40 years but each time I gain back even more. I have tried so many weight loss plans, several which were Christian-based. They have all involved diet, exercise, and “renewing of the mind and heart”. It seems like no matter what amount of weight I lose I cannot keep it off. I don’t know what my problem is, but I do know that it’s not a lack of knowledge of diet and exercise. There is something I’m just not getting. I don’t think God wants me to live with this weight but I feel like I’ve lost almost all hope. I don’t want my family to have to pay extra for 5x large casket when I die. I would appreciate you remembering me in prayer.

  • I have tried so many times to lose weight. I will lose 2-4 lbs then get off track. I’m afraid to try again because I know I’m going to fail. If I fail again, what does that say about me? It says I don’t love Jesus enough to put Him first so that I can be my very best….I’m not@ my best being overweight. I have the information I need to lose weight (healthier food choices & exercise) but, for some reason I don’t stick to it. I’m lonely and depressed because I don’t socialize often because I don’t like how my clothes fit/look, but I still keep failing in this area. I am frustrated with me.

  • Kimberly, Thank you for being so vulnerable with your own weight loss journey. You are helping me face reality about my own situation.
    This article on “Overcoming Weight Loss Fear” is right where I am at right now. All the things you stated about “seriously impacting my middle literally and figuratively” I really relate to. God is definitely dealing with my heart that it it time to quit lying to myself about what I am doing to this temple. He is taking off blinders and dealing with me about people pleasing as well. Thanks for being so out there with your own life. That shows me and others you are “real”. I am joining the program and may eventually do a small group at our church. I like the idea of the Small Steps to Weight Loss Tips. Those convinced me that I could put this into practice one step at a time.
    I am morbidly obese and have been hurt emotionally a lot by a doctor. Your eBook on Overcoming Emotional Eating was very informative to me as well. Thank you again for being obedient to God’s call to help others overcome “weight” issues. I like that what I have seen so far doesn’t just put all the emphasis on food. That you are also concerned with the issues behind the poor eating habits.

    • Hi Mary – I greatly enjoyed reading your comments about how the articles are ministering to you. I pray Ephesians 1:15-21 over your life. May you get rich in God’s wisdom and revelation so that you can enrich others!

  • Thank you Kimberly for your response to Patty.

    I recently was talking to a friend and have started the process asking the Holy Spirit to change me. I am 62 and weigh 255 lb and so tired of going from diet to diet to diet and back again or eating my eyeballs out. As I shared with my friend, I told her that I was afraid to be thin and that I would become a flirt or loose. I love Jesus and my husband of almost 42 years. I am thanking Jesus for this thread. I am encouraged to keep moving forward trusting the Lord in the process my middle. Thank you for the articles and the posts.

  • I truly desire to lose weight, but I have failed so much I find it hard to believe it is possible for me. I feel that my weight hinders my purpose in life. I currently weight 238lbs. I have gotten down to 215lbs, but with the help weight loss products. My desire is to be health and energetic for Christ. I find myself so angry and bitter and I do sometimes speak very negative about myself, which makes other laugh at me and believe that I am comfortable with my weight. No please pray with me and for me that I can begin and continue a healing process that will allow me experience success in area of weight loss.

  • Greetings Kimberley,

    First of all I want to say that your face was just as beautiful before weight loss and that radiant smile of yours is a pleasure to look at.

    I too want to lose weight now. I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable in my skin and clothes. It does hold you back.

    I know I have been hurt by men finding me alluring when my weight is lower and think this is why put weight on. To be less attractive.

    Will I ever be less trusting? Less gullible? I don’t know.

    I pray that God will keep me safe and allow me to be light and happy.


    • Hi Kim – Thank you so much for your compliments. I am sorry for your past hurts. I will join you in prayer for God to help you transfer your trust in a heavy body to keep you safe to Him to keep you safe. And to give you a spirit of wisdom and discernment so that you will be able form relationships with people you can trust. With God’s help, you can obtain the vision He has given you, one day at a time.

  • Kim,
    I googled Christ-Centered healthy eating and found your website!! I have struggled with weight since 13. I am rapidly approaching 60 and have been more discouraged than ever. I’ve lost & gained, lost & gained and lost & gained the same 40-70 pounds so many times I’ve lost count. 2 years ago I lost 65# and vowed I’d never gain it back – it’s back with friends! I hate every extra #. Truth is, I think I hate me!

    I have wrestled with whether this is a “spiritual” battle or just lack of self-control. I promise myself every day or every week, today/this week it’ll be different only to fail, often before noon! I wonder why God would want to help me with this mess I got myself into. People say I’m to hard on myself but there’s nothing hard about me – I’m very soft – spilling over and out of my clothes with softness. My husband is obese as well and feels we should be “treated” often! He takes 3 blood pressure meds and I have acid reflux issues and we both have knee & feet issues. THIS IS AFFECTING OUR QUALITY OF LIFE!

    I have had to have two neck surgeries and fear a 3rd. I was exercising regularly (Zumba even) when the horrific pain started again (my neck was literally sliding off my spine and compromising my spinal column). I don’t want to do anything that will cause another surgery. So that is a deterrent to exercise – as are the knee & feet issues. I feel hopeless.

    I looked at the list you compiled about energy levels, out of control eating, fitting in chairs, having to wear tents I can only buy at certain stores that are certain to have stupid cats or butterflies on them – I added acid reflux, knee/feet issues. I have hated most of the MIDDLE of my life.

    I do have betrayal & abandonment issues as well as serious losses of a twin brother as an infant and of my sister at age 22. My ex-husband walked out on me at 32 telling me he didn’t know if he ever loved me! My Dad always encouraged us to eat and “grow big” – then at 19, he said, you’re going to be fat like your mother!

    I have always lived by my own power because no one has ever been there for me emotionally – EVER! My heart has always had a big empty hole. I guess I have tried to fill it with food. Rage – way beyond anger – has been a constant companion making me prone to angry outbursts. I hate myself for making excuses and doing nothing. I hate myself for the sin of gluttony. I basically hate myself for reaching 60 so messed up!

  • ….so I’m serious about TBYT…I’m been praying and asking God for guidance in my weight loss journey….now I’m begining to understand it’s a lifestyle journey…learning already…so I believe you’re one of the answers to my prayers… Thanks and God Bless!!!

  • I need ideas how to put on a poker face for coworkers whose entire motive or mission to to get an emotional reaction out of me. One keeps waving like he’s running for president and says hello to me 15-20 times in an 8 hr shift Others keep coming into my face if I do not look them in the face while I am doing a task. I purposely avoid eye contact or even physical accessability because I do not want to be engaged in their need for personal attention. I physically do not give space to the mockers or controllers whose ” constant jokes” are mere control attempts. Can you please help me with ideas. I do not desire their social attention. I do not want any inquiry into my personal life. I work with people in their lower 40’s whose emotional games to call me MRS coworkers last name while I am single or put a 3ft by 5 ft cougar sign in my workarea suggesting I am attempting to hookup with a younger coworker. I have emotionally shut down. The ones who want mock or want to control me have no idea what *** I am put up with. If you have any suggestion how to respond please let me know. Ignoring did not help me. It will probably happen again because it happens from 5 or 6 different ones who are all connected. I have prayed, asked for deliverance. I told my supervisor. I got counseling. Nothing stops these coworkers, several are ” born again” I am told I have a choice about how I respond. I do not know how to respond, I just internalize and am emotionally unable to comprehend how ignorant people are to want to make a person so uncomfortable or just how much dislike there is for me for what action I can’t remembering I did to trigger this?

    • Hello! The answers I have to offer are Biblical ones. You don’t say what your relationship with Jesus Christ is like so that is the first thing I’d recommend starting with in case you do not have one or need to re-establish your relationship. Check this out: https://www.everystudent.com/features/gettingconnected.html.

      Next, God’s word says nothing about maintaining a poker face to those who are unkind to you. So I can’t help you with that. Jesus said this about how to handle people who are unkind to you: “…But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:43-48).”

      In addition, God tells us to forgive others who hurt us. That means present and future. I’d recommend writing a letter to God about the people you need to forgive. Nobody has to see it but you. But writing the letter will allow you to get some of that hurt out in black and white. Doing that seems to give it less power over you.

      You said that you have received counselling in the past. Based on your message, I would suggest pursing counselling again with a Christian counselor who can help you get past the wounds of your past. God has a great plan for your future but you won’t be able to obtain it as long as you remain trapped by your past. The work environment that you have described sounds quite hostile. I would Google “hostile work environment” for suggestions on how to handle your job situation. No person should have to tolerate harassment from coworkers.

      Finally, consider the question of your identity in Christ. Be sure that the name you are calling yourself is one you want to answer to. It may seem harmless to call yourself ’emotionalrollercoaster’ for posting on a public website. But be careful that you aren’t allowing your circumstances to define your identity. Even as you are going through this trial, I’d recommend meditating on this: Who I Am in Christ.

      God bless you!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Kimberley. I have been searching for some help with my battle in overeating, having tried everything but weightloss surgery to get this area of my life into balance.

    I too have fears about losing my ‘protective’ fat blanket! I have major trust issues with men and the last time I lost a lot of weight I ended up having a brief affair. I seemed to be attracting a lot of attention from some very shady characters and I honestly don’t want to find myself in some of the situations I found myself in during this time.

    Another issue I really struggled with was that suddenly other women seemed to have a lot to say about my weightloss, some were obsessed and it made me feel so uncomfortable. Some of my friends who were overweight seemed jealous and insecure with my new body. I hated it and didn’t know how to handle it all.

    This was before I found Christ, or he found me should I say. I would like to think now that I am stronger than I was then and my mind is healthier. Also believe that God will protect me from negative attention and as my lifestyle and behaviour is very different, things might not be like this for me now. But I guess I am not sure.

    What I do know is that my reasons for wanting to lose weight were all wrong, it was all about my looks but now it’s about getting balance in my life, being healthy, having more energy and time for my children and of course God. Most importantly my hunger for God is becoming insatiable and I know whilst I have addictions and strongholds in my life I will never be able to go deeper with him. I will never be able to give him my all.

    I am so excited to be here though, feel that finally I have stumbled across a lot of truth and reading your articles is building my hope that I can do this with Christ at my side.

    Blessing to you!

    Lots of love,

    Katie X

    • Praise God, Katie! I’ve found the only to cast out fear is following what the Bible says in 1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” So if this fear is still lingering, I’d recommend praying like I did: “Lord, perfect me in Your love.” Pray that even as you move forward in doing the things that will get you healthier. Know that the Lord is with your and He won’t let you fall. Looking forward to hearing your testimony!

  • Good morning Kimberly,

    I got a jolt when you said you didn’t lose your morals when you lost weight. I hadn’t realized that I’d thought the same thing and it’s not based on the truth of God’s Word!

    Jesus showed me how to turn to Him first whenever I had a problem or was angry, afraid, tired – you name it! In the process of putting Him first in my daily living, I lost 50 lbs! The Holy Spirit taught me to judge my thought life against the plumb line of the Bible. If my internal remarks didn’t agree with His Word, I would confess that my thought was a lie and I’d remind myself what the truth was in the Bible.

    Unfortunately, I have not remained consistent in going to Jesus first. It’s always a gradual turn, isn’t it? Instead of downloading the day with Jesus, I’d have a glass of wine. Rather than talk to Him about a problem, I’d avoid it by numbing out with a favorite dessert…

    The 50 lbs are back and they brought some friends. The alcohol and sweets are back in the house. What hurts more than the regained weight is the lost closeness with my Lord. He’s been showing all this to me lately and I know the purpose isn’t to bash me but to woo me back. He wants to share all my hopes and fears.

    I hope Patty is in a better place since she first posted her comment. I don’t know when she posted, but it’s helped me today. Your reply to her has helped me too.

    Thank you for sharing your life with people you probably won’t meet on this side of heaven.

    Your sister in Christ,

    • Thank for your comments Diane. This is a DAILY process and the Lord gives us strength for today. Praise Him that He is not about condemnation and restoration. He will never leave us, even if sometimes we might walk away from Him for a season. And He always welcomes us back. I know your relationship with the Lord will be even deeper and stronger this time around. Treasure the journey as well as the destination. God bless you, Sister!

  • Hi Kim,

    I have been going through your website since few weeks. The article on Patty was eye-opener. I never thought that i had fear of losing weight. I thought it is just my food habits, craving for food, oversleeping, anger fits, etc, which i am not able to control at times are the hindrances in my losing weight.

    My teeth are not aligned well and hence protrude a bit.Whenever i lose a bit of weight, my chubby cheeks go flat and these teeth seem to protrude more, (though it is more visible due to weight loss). I know i can go for braces but God had put it on my heart that we are on an assignment, and hence, I have been praying to receive alignment of teeth and jaw supernaturally. Although at times in fact many a times, i dislike looking at myself in the mirror (due to weight/teeth issues), whenever i am being photographed, i never like them, i dont know how to smile in a proper way so that i look good in pictures. In fact, the truth is i never liked looking at my snaps.

    I have been going through few lifestyle changes, hoping to reach the desired weight loss and getting closer to the Lord (knowing Him more & more).

    Stay strong and happy, Kim!



    • Thank you so much Sheena! We all have imperfections but when faced with mine I meditate on Psalm 139:14 “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” We are all unique and I pray you will someday praise God for your uniqueness. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

  • I fear being raped again if I lose weight… victim of child abuse by relative long ago as I am now in 70s… but still a fear… when I weighed less as an adult my husband emotionally ‘beat me up’ and ‘used’ me by taking all of my money I worked he didn’t— just took then left and left me with his kids and years of debt to pay off as he used money for gambling debts and left me with ‘real collectible’ debts … whom I had adopted. if I lose weigh it is okay to a point then I seem driven to eat and eat until i sabotage it all and gain back weight lost and more…. some times it seems like suicide by food… but unsuccessful at that… nope shrink didn’t help neither did discussion with minister… or stomach by-pass surgery… think i have forgiven him and it crops back up when i seem to be moving to healthy solution and getting close……………..

    • Hi Wren – I am praying for you. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Since God did not give you this fear, then ask yourself “Where is this fear coming from? Will it ultimately steal, kill, and destroy me?” Think about it.

      Your story is actually not unusual. Many people who connect with TBYT have had some type of emotional trauma in their past (abuse, neglect, abandonment) that has contributed to their weight gain. They use it as a form of emotional insulation against perceived further pain. Only God can heal emotional pain. A diet or eating plan can’t ever do that. It is true that people hurt you in the past, but do you really want to keep giving them power to steal your future too? That is a question only you can answer. You didn’t say what your relationship with Jesus Christ is like today. Submitting this issue to God in prayer requires courage to confront your pain so that you can move past it. Right now, it sounds like you are stuck in your past and as long as that is the case, you are being robbed of your God-given future. I pray you don’t continue to allow this to happen. With God’s help, you can live a better story from this day forward.

  • Hi Kimberly thank you for this testimony, I just wanted to ask what happened to Patty, did you ever hear from her again? By the way your response was amazing!

  • Kimberly thank you so much for caring and sharing your testimony. You are helping so many people . I’ve been following you for awhile now and purchased some of your books. I’m seriously obese and now ready to take back my temple. I’m an ordained preacher and pastor and very limited because of my weight. I want to know how do I get in the Take back your Temple class. Once thank you and I celebrate the Christ in you!! Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Donna – thank you for writing. Praise God that He does have your answer because as you know, scripture says it takes faith AND patience to inherit God’s promises. You can learn more about starting a Take Back Your Temple offline groups here. Because the books are available through Amazon.com, they don’t share the names of the people who have purchased, therefore I don’t have a list of where offline groups are. Joining our online group is available for those who join the Take Back Your Temple program. Learn more here.

    • Kimberly,
      This is by far the best article I’ve read. It was Patti’s article and your response to her that I discovered something about myself. I am 46 years old, a born again believer and I have been over weight for about fifteen years. I have questioned myself several times concerning my challenge with anger, depression, and bitterness. Well this article has shown me that I am not happy with the “middle” the now part of my life. Its the weight and everything that I have allowed it to keep me from that’s causing my misery. I thank God for the revelation, for you, and for those who share on your site.
      Ft. Wayne, IN.

      • Praise God indeed for His revelation, Donna! Now that the light is on, please remain in it. Don’t allow yourself to forget this revelation. God once told me that forgetfulness is the enemy of faith. So please put some “feet” to your faith each day with some small steps that will put your on the road to the life you want. 3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” That is my prayer for you too. Now go get it 🙂

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