Fear, “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger” (Merriam-Webster) or “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat” (Dictionary online).
If you stop and think about it for a moment, you probably have some fears in life. They can be related to traveling (flying in an airplane, driving on highways), animals (dogs, birds, insects), or relationships (commitment, marriage) to name a few.
But every day, I encounter clients and prospective clients that express fears related to two other things: food and change.
It’s not surprising to me that so many people have food fear. Food fears can be targeted at specific foods (i.e. pastries, chips) or whole food categories (i.e. breads and grains). They can relate to situations such as going to a party (“I won’t be able to resist the cake”) or meeting friends for dinner at a restaurant (“There are too many options, I’ll be tempted to order something not on the “light menu”).
How Does Food Fear Develop?
Well, typically they develop from messages you’ve received around these foods. These can be messages from members of your family, friends, or even health professionals. If your mom was a chronic dieter and she’d make statements such as “I can’t eat x” or “I gained 5 pounds just from eating y last night”, you internalized these messages and with repetition, they became your beliefs.
Food fears also develop from what you hear in the media, read in the newspaper, and see in advertisements. Let’s face it, there is always someone touting the next great miracle to lose weight and it usually includes demonizing certain foods and/or food groups.
How Do You Heal from these Beliefs and Food Fears?
Bear with me, I’ll answer that question soon. First I want to address the second fear I revealed above: fear of change.
Fear of Change
Just the other day my hairdresser was telling me that the salon is moving down the block. She was upset. I asked her why. She said, “I don’t like change”.
Yes, change is hard. But if you have been engaging in the same behaviors for years without seeing results, then continuing these behaviors isn’t going to change anything. You cannot continue doing the same things and expect different results. That’s the definition of insanity (according to Albert Einstein)!
So, let’s dig a little bit here. What are you afraid of?
It could be a fear of actually NOT dieting anymore. It’s comfortable to diet. Well, what I mean is its familiar to you. You know what to expect, it’s safe for you. Diets tell you what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. You don’t need to make any decisions.
But let me ask you. Is this how you want to live your life? Or, do you want to be in charge of your own body and your food choices?
Perhaps it’s fear of success? I know, at first this sounds odd, doesn’t it? But take a moment and give thought to this one. Are you afraid to succeed for some reason? What reason might that be? Perhaps lack of confidence that you won’t be able to sustain this way of eating and living. Perhaps fear of achieving the body you’ve always wanted but you don’t want the attention this new body will bring you.
If you don’t learn to change old habits to make way for the new, you’ll never achieve the results you so desperately want.
Healing from Your Food Fears and Fear of Change
To heal from your food fears, you must first recognize what your beliefs are around these foods. To do that, you need to identify the negative messages you received and at what stage of your life you received them. And, from whom did you receive these messages? Then, and only then, can you work towards overturning these messages, beliefs and ultimately be at peace with food (and your body!)
To overcome your fear of change, you need to uncover the real reason why you are resisting change. Realize that change will not happen unless you become just a little uncomfortable now in order to change your future. What is at the root of your fear of change and why you are so resistant to it?
If you’re like most of the woman I speak with, you’ve been working at breaking free of dieting for a while. You’ve researched the topic, spoken with coaches, downloaded materials and have read it over and over again. Yet, you are still stuck.
If you’d like me to help you get unstuck, I invite you to hop on a call with me and let’s discuss the possibilities. Get a spot on my calendar HERE.
Don’t see a time that works for you? No problem. Email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com