Don't Be Afraid!

Facing a fear means being brave and moving out of your comfort zone. Go for it!

Posted Nov 20, 2014

Fear is a trap.

One of the big secrets to successfully reaching any goal is not being afraid to try. Fear is paralyzing. You can’t move forward when you’re afraid of the future. Some fears and anxieties are common to the experience of losing weight and getting fit. Questions arise. What if you lose weight but can’t keep it off? What if you’re hungry all the time? What if you lose weight and all your fantasies about what your life will be like don’t come true.

Deep down, you know what to do with your fears. You know you have to stand tall and stare them in the face if you want to get rid of them. That’s how you desensitize yourself and move forward. It’s really the only way. 

I know people who seem to talk about nothing but fat or carbs or gluten. They’re obsessed! I bet you know plenty of people like that too. If you spend a lot of your free time obsessing about individual nutrients or ingredients in your food, it sounds like your life might be a little out of balance. For most of us, focusing on variety, and being careful not to get too much of any one type of food (especially processed foods), is the healthiest approach to eating. Developing a phobia is not healthy!

Believe it or not, even though you say you want to be fit and healthy, you might actually be afraid to do it. You might actually suffer from a fear of getting thin just like someone who is afraid of professional success. It’s not that hard to understand. After all, if you’ve been unfit for a long time, it’s familiar to you and at some level, you’re resistant to change. If you lose weight, you’ll be looking at a physically new you. You might be afraid of failure. There’s always the possibility that you won’t lose quite as much weight as you set out to lose, or tone your body to look the way it did 20 years ago. You might fear that once you lose weight, you’ll have to live up to some ideal that you’re not sure you can live up to. Maintaining a healthy body can be hard work. Are you afraid to do the work? Don’t be afraid to admit it. That’s your first step toward success!

 How many times have you had to learn something “the hard way”? Sometimes you learn your best lessons by doing things wrong the first time, picking yourself up, and trying the same thing again or trying something different. In the language of addiction, or weight control, failure is known as a lapse or relapse. You lapse back into an old, destructive habit. Most of us suffer at least one or two of those along the way to a healthier lifestyle. And there’s only one way to deal with lapses: All yourself to “fail,” watch yourself get up and get over it, and move ahead. You’ll have less, or nothing left, to fear.

Before you can face your fears, you have to be clear about what they are. Are you afraid of emotions you’re covering up? Are you afraid of hunger? As in so many situations, it helps to write things down and, in the process, create a plan for yourself. Don’t just write down your fears, write down at least one way you can think of to start facing each fear. For example, you may be afraid to tell your partner that you want to start a program for healthier living out of fear the the response will be something like, “Oh no, not again!” You might face that fear by figuring out a time to talk it out in the near future.