Today I have to remind myself that there is nothing inherently scary about change. It’s not only necessary, but can bring about great reward! Changing my diet or my exercise routine just might be a good thing; it certainly isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These are words I need to remember today!
Whether it’s due to “nature” or “nurture” or both, I seem to fear change and the unknown. When change is imminent, I feel nervous. Only after I establish a routine and determine that the routine is “working” do I feel a sense of relief. I can recall every time I changed dorm rooms in college, I didn’t feel like myself until my stuff was set up and I had established a routine. The same is true for each apartment I’ve lived in, each new job I’ve taken, and each new graduate school course I started…until I established a routine, I felt out of sorts, anxious, as if my very cells were vibrating at a more rapid pace than before.
Particularly difficult for me have been changes related to my diet and exercise. Even when I know that a change might be good for me, I grow anxious. I think, “But I KNOW this routine. It’s working okay. Making a change might not work. I might FAIL.” I think that’s at the root of a lot of my fear…that nasty word, “Failure”, and the erroneous belief I have that any failure of any task at all means that I AM A FAILURE. I’ve worked hard in my recovery from Binge-Eating Disorder to recognize that this is not at all the case. But that ingrained thought needles away at me sometimes until I catch myself and can say, “There’s nothing inherently wrong with change. If I try something new and it doesn’t work. Then that’s all: it doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure.”
This week, eight days after changing my exercise routine–at the suggestion of a qualified personal trainer at my gym–I find myself feeling out of sorts and anxious, constantly thinking, “What if this new routine doesn’t work? I think I’m getting “soft”. Am I gaining weight? If this new routine doesn’t keep me toned and keep the weight off, I’m a failure.” WRONG. A more rational thought is, “If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And that’s all. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I can try something else or go back to what I was doing before.” I can’t believe how often I have to stop and reprogram my brain like this. But it does help. And doing it publicly on this blog helps a lot, too. It makes me even more accountable for my thoughts and actions.
Keep in mind today, as I now will, that flexibility is a good thing. There’s nothing inherently scary about change.
Peace, joy, and health!