We’re near the end of this great journey through our virtual tour of a 12 week diet but we still have yet to conquer our fears and deal with a goal that does not come to pass. Let’s not waste time and just hop right in.
I have thought about this all week long in terms of how I was going to present fear to you. My initial thought was to sort of pick up where I left off with ‘pressure’ and tell you about the fake voices in your head and how they control you. However, I know that some good brain cells were set on fire with that post so I will put out those flames later on with another post when we go into the series that discusses the after effects of this diet. What I feel that most of us lack is an understanding of how real those voices and feelings seem at the time and because of this, how much they can rob us of a healthy dieting experience. If we can acknowledge in our hearts—not our minds—that those voices are just fear and they are not real, then we may be able to make it through this diet without making any rash, harmful decisions. But it is the acknowledging that is the hard part. We have such a tough veneer that most of us aren’t honest enough with ourselves to share that we have fears. Real fears. So real, they seem like people in a room to us.
FEAR is an acronym in the English language for “False Evidence Appearing Real”. Neale Donald Walsch
Hands down, the best weapon in war or any other kind of battle is intimidation. Warring parties would try to convince the other side that they had an advantage in hopes of getting them to surrender without even going to battle. In many instances it worked and a fight was avoided. When it comes to something such as dieting, the enemy isn’t another country warring against us; the enemy is in our mind and it will stop at nothing to de-rail us from our goal. It is real, it occupies real space in our brain and it can become so real that we could almost have a conversation with it on the couch. Actually, we do have a conversation with it on the couch.
I want to stress this concept to the point of ad nauseam because you may fail to see its relevance and impact in your life. When you are 7 weeks into this diet but your only 1/3 of the way to goal, it is fear who is going to remind you of that. When you are in the gym and you suddenly feel portly compared to the week before, it is fear that is making that happen. When you are deciding on adding extra cardio into your program when you know you shouldn’t or cut out carbs before your plan tells you to, it is fear that gives you the wherewithal to that. Fear becomes your best friend. He goes from being just a topic you discuss with someone you trust to a scary man with bad breath who is real, mean and standing right next to you.
As dieters, the things we fear seem so silly when we say them out loud so we keep them to ourselves and it is there that they become true villains in our minds. They literally take on the human likeness of a 6’3” tall, large frame, ominous looking and strong male who stalks us wherever we go. He pops up at the most inopportune times and refuses to leave us, even after we have convinced ourselves for the 20th time that hour he is a figment of our imagination and nothing is going to happen. He has bad breath and is happy to breathe on us any time we feel we are losing control of our present circumstances. Thus if life begins to squeeze us emotionally through work, home life or friends, here comes fear to keep us company through that by giving us something else to worry over instead of the real issues at hand.
He makes us anxious. He makes us get up, go to the cabinets and eat like there is no tomorrow. He can tell us to take a not-so-good ergogenic aid because without it we will never get to where we want. He’ll talk all day long if we let him—and we do! We argue with him, reason with him and even shout at him if we’re alone. He is in full control and we are at his mercy when he strikes because we 1) want to deny that he is real and 2) do not recognize the behaviors that he brings out in us because we keep denying he is real. More than anything you must acknowledge his presence to get rid of him or he just keeps sitting at the dinner table in your mind feasting on your sanity.
I’m not even going to try to address conquering fear here and for the most part of this series I have only pointed out emotions and actions without going into how to get over them. This is mainly because it is not that simple to “fix” and this post is already longer than the line of traffic at a cheap gas station without adding that in. I promise I will get there. We have much to cover in the coming months and I think it best to get your mind percolating first.
Tomorrow I will wrap this series up by giving you the last two weeks of the diet. It may interest you to know that we do not make it to goal the way we want and so I will cover what to do when that happens, as well. This has been a great series and I really appreciate all the emails and comments. Keep ‘em coming! Woop woop!