This may sound like a cop-out, but I’m actually afraid to lose weight. I’ve been heavy all my life; in a way it’s part of who I am. Plus, I have a good sense of humor about it. Anytime there’s an awkward moment at work I jump in with a fat joke. It lightens the mood, and I’m convinced that’s why my coworkers like me. Still, my doctor keeps telling me I need to lose at least 60 pounds. How can I overcome my worry that people won’t like me once I’m thin-or that I won’t like myself?

Your fears are perfectly normal, and the fact that you’re aware of them shows you’re well on your way to overcoming them. So take a moment now to acknowledge that your weight affects only what you look like-it’s not a reflection of who you are. No matter your size, you’ll always be the caring, sensitive friend your coworkers love. Remind yourself of this regularly by repeating an affirmation like “I’m lovable and beautiful at any size.”

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