What’s Really at the Root of Your Fears?
In 2018, I went from 160 pounds to 119 pounds (mind you, my entire family kept asking if I could afford groceries or if I was sick). I’m still quite proud of my achievement (and currently weighing in at 127 because 119 was too thin) because it took a lot of commitment to do it, but there was one thing overlooked when I started: replacing my ENTIRE wardrobe. I totally didn’t see it coming.
Complete blind spot.
Then, I had to confront something: I was afraid to replace my clothes! Totally. First, buying new clothes meant spending money I had other plans for…but I was starting to look sloppy. Second, I also had to work up the nerve to give away my larger clothes. “What if I gain the weight back?” was my first thought. So, I held onto my larger sizes a full year after hitting my goal weight. I needed to test my own mettle.
I was surprised at my own fear. I was so afraid of feeling stupid if I wound up needing to buy clothes AGAIN! I know how I beat myself up when I make what I believe are stupid mistakes. And there would also be people…”You know she gained it all back!” So, I created a baby-step plan to manage my “clothing fear”. First, I put the large items in a storage bin just to see if I’d need something from the pile (you know how you give stuff to Goodwill and suddenly want the green shirt back). Then, I gave myself permission to buy ONE PAIR OF BLACK PANTS. For months, those pants were the only ones that I had that fit.
As I worked through my own feelings about my commitment to my lifestyle change – I lost it through exercise and diet – I saw how my weight story was no different than the other significant risks that I’d taken EXCEPT in one pretty impactful way. It wasn’t short term: it was (and continues to be) the rest of my life. If I went back to my former food and health styles, I’d be accepting defeat, but not just about the weight. I’d be accepting defeat around self-discipline and self-control. I’d be saying I am okay with with doing nothing to combat my family’s health history. It would be like saying I’d bought into a fad. My family’s health history was the last push to really accepting that I could no longer eat all of the things I like, in the quantities I like, and skimp on exercise. There’s just no way my around commitment to dying with my toes. I came to see needing bigger clothes as saying that all of the lifestyle changes I made weren’t things that I really believed in and that my desire for cake and potato chips was stronger than my knowledge of my family health history and basic nutrition and science.
Yes, this meant a lifetime of discipline around something I’d always enjoyed with reckless abandon (I can make a pound that you’d swear God made), but I couldn’t fail myself. I decided that I was all in. I finally dropped off the clothes at Goodwill.
What’s really at the root of your fears?