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Fear and Habit Change

Well finally it feels like we are moving away from the fear and restricted activity of the pandemic. A lot has changed in our lives. I am grateful to be vaccinated and I hope you are too; I do not want any more of my clients to be that sick!

What happened with your food in the last year? It was hard to get the things we wanted and needed and scary to go out to find them. We did more online ordering than ever before, and many of us went back to our “comfort foods.” And the old habits came back to haunt us. (No, I am not looking in your window; I have heard this from so many clients!)

Habits are hard to handle and hard to change. When food has been your rescue and support, so many times, for so long, setting it aside and looking for another way to comfort yourself just seems impossible sometimes.

According to a report by the American Psychological Association, the vast majority of Americans said the pandemic was a major stressor for them, and more than 40% said they have gained unwanted weight. Seventy-eight percent of the people the APA surveyed felt that COVID was a major stressor and 67% felt more stressed, and 48% mentioned the difficulties of being parents during this time. The average weight gain was 29 pounds! Ten percent said they had gained more than 50 pounds!

So, lots of us use food to manage feelings of stress. And if we have done this for a long time, we need to work harder at doing other things to relieve stress instead. Exercise is great, but we don’t seem to get the benefit of it. Music, prayer, conversations with loved ones, and good novels can help. So can knitting or other needlework, woodworking, coloring mandalas, doing puzzles and playing games with your children. (It is SO hard to eat chocolate if you are knitting on white angora!) Let’s begin to look for other things that soothe us. And let’s set them up in our schedules, whether we need relaxation or not!

The last and most important thing we need to reduce stress is connection. Connecting with others of like mind. Connecting with people who are non-judgmental and supportive of your goals. Connecting with one of the powers who run the universe is also critically important.

And asking for help. That is the be all and end all for me. My Higher Power won’t stick his fingers into anything I am doing, unless I invite him. He won’t show me how to handle my problem unless I ask for His help. And my best friend won’t pick up the phone and say, “Ok, tell me about the problem” unless I call or text and ask for help.

And to maintain these relationships, we need to spend time in prayer and meditation. And we need to spend time with our friends, doing things we both enjoy.

Changing habits is hard and focused work. Asking for help is not a sign of shame or weakness; we all need the support of others at this time, and at any time we are struggling. The people and powers we choose to allow to help us need to understand and support our goals, and be willing to stand behind us and believe in us.

There are others, who don’t. Leave them alone till a better time.

Please comment. PLEASE COMMENT! I want to hear your thoughts, ideas and opinions!

And enjoy this beautiful summer!

Blessings to you,

Theresa

P.S. Our delightful secretary Jennifer is taking some time off to move her family to their new home. That means I will be answering the phone and trying to keep up with everything she usually does! She will be back with us, remotely, on July 12. So please be patient; I will be doing my best to keep up with everything!  Theresa

4 Responses to Fear and Habit Change

  1. Sherri July 6, 2021 at 2:03 pm #

    Hello Theresa,

    Another timely article. Yes, the stress of the uncertainty that we have been living with for over a year and a half has been overwhelming. Plus life goes on and other stressors loomed as well. So we need comfort…and food is the old standby.
    Recently I have gotten back into tapping and also journaling which has helped to take the edge off of these feelings. The social isolation is still a big problem for me because the friends I had before don’t seem to fit or resonate anymore—not sure what happened there. So it is disconcerting to say the least. I always appreciate your insights.
    Gotta make new contacts this year.
    Thank you.

    • H. Theresa Wright July 16, 2021 at 9:18 pm #

      The pandemic changed everyone, and you may need to change your friends and advisers. And tapping and journaling are great ways to get in touch with ourselves and clear out old stuff! Good luck!

  2. Theresa Chesnut July 7, 2021 at 1:47 am #

    Thank you Theresa for another well thought out and thought provoking blog.

    Being a creature of habit, both good and bad, as well as a huge disdain for change, 12-18 months has been roller coaster.

    I came into Program during this time so it was a time of metamorphosis for me and though I’m enjoying the results of thie process, it has been totally all about fear and habit changing. Breaking habits and facing fears.

    Now that I have begun to do the above mentioned things comes the responsibility for continued maintenance and support, ( I think I just brought up a fear) I have both fear of failure and fear of success, I choose to face both.

    In isolation I hide from fear, sharing my self with others, go to meetings, learning from others who have done it before along with asking the God of my understanding to protect me are all ways and techniques for change. Lastly I must be patient with myself.

    • H. Theresa Wright July 16, 2021 at 9:15 pm #

      I think that change is the scariest thing we ever do. And because food has been such an intimate part of our bodies and our lives, changing the food and thereby the body is even scarier! The support system you mention, spirituality, meetings, relationships with trusted advisers, sleep, rest and self care, as well as the right food plan, is the way to make changes that last and to create the life we waant.

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