Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flat Out Fear

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."  -Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

So to quickly recap the last 2 posts, (here and here):

1.  Step One
Understand on a deep and complete level that how you look and feel at this very moment is TOTALLY the result of your day-to-day thoughts, actions and habits.  You are not over-weight because of your slow metabolism, or your thyroid, or your sugar addiction or your eating disorder, but rather because of how you behave in the FACE of those problems.  Each of those very real problems, has a solution.  There is help readily available to get you past those and any other weight-related issue.  If you are still allowing those or any other issue to stop you, then you are not fully taking responsibility and do not completely see the connection between what you do and what you get as a result.

If you are saying "but, but, but..." stay here and keep working.  There is nothing wrong with you and you are not "bad"!  You are just here at this stage, that's all.  If you try to jump into action from this stage you will probably end up doing the Yo-Yo Dance.  Keep working here until you make the connection (ie, blammo).

(If you get it but need help finding the solutions, that's what I'm here for.  Email me and make an appointment:

2.  Step Two
Motivation.  Why do you want to change and why do you not want to change?  What is your big"Why"?  Is your "Why" exciting enough to carry you past the obstacles or will you crumble the moment you hit resistance?

If you are one of the many who say "I know what I need to do and I know why I want to do it, but I just don't do it" then you need to spend some time working in step two.  Changing long-held habits and beliefs takes strong, unwavering effort.  If you don't want it badly enough, hang out here working on this until you do.  When I have clients stuck at this place I try to get them emotionally aroused about the situation. I take them through a meditation that zooms them out through the years so they can feel what it will be like 5, 10, 20 years down the road of no change. It's a little ow-ey but it usually works.

Sometimes you just need a hand at this stage with implementation, consistency and accountability.  Maybe you are stuck on meal planning, organization, finding the time to get it all done, finding healthy food you actually like to eat, or exercise you actually like to do.  Or maybe your sugar/food addiction is really kicking your butt and you could use some extra-strength Fighter Power.  Again, that's what I do.  Email me or hire a coach or get a buddy, whatever.

So, how about this scenario:  You totally understand the connection between behavior and result, you have a totally scintillating "why" and are all jazzed up and ready to change your life....  and then... you don't.  What the heck could be wrong now?!  Please meet...

3.  Step Three
Face the FEAR.  Friends, it is called a "Comfort Zone" for a reason.  Stepping out of it is downright frickin fracken uncomfortable.  Go re-read that FDR quote up there:  fear is "...terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Are ya just plain scared out of your wits?  Heck yes!  I know I am most of the time.

This is starting to sound like an ad for 1-800-CALL-ME, but seriously, having someone to stand in that fear with you, to keep whispering in your ear "I know you can do it", well, it can make all the difference.  I mean, how many of us would have gotten through child-birth, the single most scary thing in the world, without a helpful nurse, midwife, spouse, partner, mother, friend?  No one expects us to go it alone where birthing babies is concerned, but we isolate ourselves when birthing our dreams.  Why is that?

There are generally two kinds of fear at this stage:  Fear of Failure and believe it or not, Fear of Success.

The first one is pretty obvious.  If you are like most people, you have already failed at this a bunch of times and the thought of failing again doesn't exactly inspire action.  Ask yourself "what's the worst thing that can I happen" and you will hear answers like "I will end up even fatter." or "I cannot bear the heart-break of losing this weight only to gain it back again."

Yup, it sure is safer to stay put.  Nothing ventured, nothing lost.  This is the point where I myself was trying the chunky necklaces and colorful neck scarves, remember?

Do you hear that little voice whispering "not me, not me, not me"?  Listen closely and see if you can hear it?  There's always my pal Tony Robbins to help with this one...

The fear of success is more subtle.  I mean, what if you DO succeed at weight loss?  What if you get to your goal weight?  Can you handle it?  People are going to look at you differently, people you don't even know are going to treat you differently (yes, they will!).  If your weight has been your main problem for 30 years and then the problem is solved, are you going to be able to cope with that vacuum?  If you have always seen yourself as fat and un-sexy, how are you going to feel when guys check you out, approach you, whistle at you? 

A lot of women I meet have gained their weight following a sexual assault or experience, or a frightening illness, or a traumatic event.  The fat has been their security blanket.  They are about as willing to drop the blanket as a 2-year old is to drop that tattered scrap he clings to.  One of my mentors used to say that taking off the fat suit is like standing in front of a giant fan with no skin on.  Not for the faint of heart.

Well, the funny thing about Fear is that it's only scary until we face it.  Face Fear down and it'll turn tail and run home crying to it's mama.  The only way out of this one is THROUGH.  Maybe it's time to pull on your big girls pants, take a deep breath and give your fears the what-for.

Now, close the door, turn the speakers up, click the link and send that Fear packing!  (The sight of me dancing to Gloria Gaynor is about as scary as it gets).


  1. Emily, this is an awesome post! Thank you. It's definitely something I am going to be thinking about!


  2. Emily, I am speechless. Your posts just keep getting better and better. You are really helping me through these. I have Tony Robbins book, "Awakening the Giant Within." Is that the one that you read? If so, I need to go dig it out and read it, instead of letting it collectd dust.