“Fear: False evidence appearing real.” — Unknown
We all have this little voice inside our head that is keeping us from achieving our goals. I call it psychological hurdles, the more serious stuffs, the complicated little monsters or in the most simplest term – fear. Fear of losing weight, being judged and fear of not getting what we want (AHHHHH!).
Being scared of something that can happen in the future is human. We all have our own set of worries and we’d be lying if we say we don’t have a single fear in life. It’s normal so let’s not fake it. But I want you to know that, in the grand scheme of losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle, these fears can be unnecessary and in all seriousness, most of us don’t even realise it’s there.
Today’s post is dedicated to that — our weight loss fears that we don’t even realise it’s there. Why? Because like all fears, it’s good to acknowledge them and deal with it before it starts taking over you negatively. Here are 7 unknown fears that’s keeping you from living healthier and losing weight and what you can do to overcome it.
1. Fear of being judged
Do you feel like people are watching you in the gym? Or you don’t feel like talking to anyone about your healthy living plans because you’re afraid what they might think? I’ve been there.
When I was starting out in my weight loss journey, I was terribly scared to tell anyone about it. I didn’t want people to think I’m being crazy for choosing that ‘rite of path’. Worse, I didn’t want people to criticise me. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Here are some signs of how being scared of being judged may look like:
– You’re terribly anxious to talk to your colleague about that new program you’re on, even though you really want them to know about it.
– You worry for days or weeks prior to starting to live healthily.
– You feel sick to the stomach when someone asks you how you’re going with your squats and deadlifts.
Fear of what others think about you can be a little more complicated than just that. If this is not the only instance where you feel scared of being judged, the diagnosis can extend to more than just a simple fear. It could be an anxiety disorder or a social phobia. In any cases, I am not in any position to comment on that.
But! If you’re only scared of being judge when you’re starting a journey in losing weight, you shouldn’t. Be proud of it. If there’s anything I wished I started sooner when I was losing weight is to tell people that I am on a weight loss journey and I want to succeed. Being scared of what others think can throw you back from extreme successes.
If you’re really afraid of what others may think, prepare yourself for the battle. Have a sound plan and don’t hold back. No one else in this world knows you more than you do.
2. Fear of losing friends
“OMG stop worrying about it. You’re NOT fat. One caramel slice won’t kill!”
While this may look like a scene on Mean Girls, fear of losing friends is real. We are all social animals. We need people around us who accepts and acknowledge us to survive and thrive. And being labelled as a social pariah or a party pooper is NOT cool. Instead of sticking to your plan, you then have that piece of caramel slice because you don’t want to lose your friends.
Well let me tell you this hard and tough – friends do not judge. And if you have friends that do, they’re probably not your real friends and they are not worth your time. I know it may seem unreal to lose friends because you’re making healthy options, but losing friends is inevitable.
Now I’m not telling you to ditch your BFF — please don’t. I won’t ditch my best friend even if she has extremely contrasting views about that piece of caramel slice so you shouldn’t too. But you can explain and talk to them. If they’re real friends they will understand what you’re doing and what you’re after.
An ex-client of mine once asked me what the best approach to peer pressure is. She was worried because the people she was hanging out with loves late night suppers with ciggies and potato chips. If I wasn’t a trainer, I wouldn’t know what to do too. So I told her, you can’t choose to be happy saying no to ciggies and potato chips at 11pm. But you can choose to be the person who says no to ciggies and potato chips at 11pm. She lost 25kg over 6 months.
3. Fear of not knowing what to do
Keep it simple,
stupid baby. What do you do if you don’t know how to drive? You learn. What would you do if you don’t know how to write? You learn. So what do you do if you don’t know what to do? You learn. And I’m sure if you’re reading this you’re smart, intelligent, beautiful, handsome and you know that education and knowledge is power.
Preparation is key and as I’ve mentioned earlier, have a sound plan. Make your own fitness plan and program. If you don’t feel confident, find and hire a trainer, or someone who is trustworthy enough and know what he is talking about. You won’t be afraid of not knowing what to do if you know what to do. Be aware of what’s going on around you and stop listening to media scams that promises a flat toned tummy in 3 weeks.
If you don’t know whether a fitness program or plan is sound, check this list out:
– The goal of the plan is long term. Even if it’s 8 or 12 weeks long, you have the flexibility to extend the plan at any time when you need to. Fitness is not just a 12-week program — it’s a lifelong solution.
– Your diet does not eliminate any of the major food groups and you can do it for the rest of your life. This means that meal replacement shake is NOT a good idea unless you’re planning to have shakes for lunch all your life. And so is that diet that requires you to count every single calorie you’re taking in, unless you don’t mind doing that for the rest of your life. Be smart and make informed choices because you know, after verifying sources, that it’s right for you.
– It nourishes you and make you feel good. If a plan is making you feel lethargic or worse, less motivated day by day, trust me that’s not the plan to go to. Starting to live healthier will make you happy, not make you sad and miserable.
This list is obviously non-exhaustive but you get what I mean. If you don’t know what to do, read, listen and learn and you will know.
4. Fear that you can’t have your favourite (insert favourite food here) anymore
This is one very common fear I had myself when I was starting to lose weight. In fact I am sure many of us will feel this way. It could be a red velvet cupcake or anything else you just simply love eating. Here’s the thing, having small treats once in a while is NOT wrong, in fact it is healthy for you, as long as you’re aware of what you’re consuming and you know you’re having it because you want to have it and not because someone forced you to.
I personally have a raincheck policy whenever I feel like having something really bad that I know can backfire on my progress. So here’s what I do — I think about it, and then I give myself a 24 hour ‘raincheck’ before I actually have it. 90% of the time I don’t want that cake anymore.
Be positive. You can still have your favourite foods. You just need to be aware.
5. Fear that you can’t stick to a plan
This links greatly with the fear of not knowing what to do. If you’re scared you can’t stick to a plan, chances are you probably don’t have a serious goal (and you’re only doing it for the sake of it) or you don’t know what to do. If it’s the former, I recommend you to really stop making goals that suck, sit down and think about what you want to achieve. If it’s the latter, go back to reading point number 3.
Another reason why you might be scared that you can’t stick to it? You’re probably doing too much at once. Trying to eat six meals a day while trying to hit the gym six times a week AND sleeping more than six hours a day is a huge deal especially if you’re doing all this for the first time in a long time. Instead of trying to change everything at one go, do it one thing at a time for a more successful habit experience.
If you have a sound goal, you know what to do and you’re doing it the right way, the last thing you should be feeling is afraid of not being able to stick to the plan. Because I know you can stick to it like glue real good.
6. Fear of FAT
And I’m not going to blame you here. Everyone is scared of fat when they are first embarking on a fitness journey, unless they’re reading blogs like this that tells you NOT to be scared of fat.
Years of ‘fat is really bad’ from the media, experts, doctors, family and friends can lead you to being afraid of it. It does not matter if you read pages of studies that tells you things like fat can ward off cardiovascular diseases and heart disease or if you’ve read stories where people lost weight eating fat, there’s always this little voice in your head that will tell you things like “Fat will kill you!”. But let me tell you this with a hug and a huge smile on my face — please don’t be afraid of fat. It is not a dangerous macronutrient.
Here’s the thing. Fat when eaten balanced together with its other two siblings — carbohydrates and protein, can give you awesome progress. I’ll recommend you to read clinical research and read more success stories from real people. This can really change your mind and make you yearn for olive oil, butter, and nuts like never before.
7. Fear of your personal trainer
“Really?! People are actually scared of their personal trainers?!” Yes, yes and yes people do get scared of their personal trainers.
It’s not, in most cases, bad. Being a little afraid of your trainer will make sure you show up to every session and see results as he or she grinds you for 45 to 60 minute per session. But being really intimidated by your trainer can be quite a bad thing. Here’s an example:
– Instead of motivating you, he or she uses indirect criticism to make sure you show up, eat well and train outside your sessions together.
– Maybe it’s not even her ways of training, it’s her personal life that intimidates you. Perhaps she has a perfect life (no she don’t), or it seems to be in your eyes and all you can do is feel helplessly small around her.
Instead of putting yourself through that emotional agony every single session, twice a week for 12 weeks or more, stop doing that to yourself and hire another one. This fear can really halt your progress and remember, when it comes to your fitness goals and needs, you come first, not the trainer. And if he or she is indeed a great one, she will understand. Chances are if you don’t feel comfortable training with her, she might not feel comfortable training you too. Be the first to speak up for your own good and see more positive results.
Here’s to you…
While I’ve already broken down the hurdles, fears and psychological setbacks that might stop you from reaching your goal, here’s a little final note that you can do for any fear you have in life, fitness or non-fitness related.
– Acknowledge your fear and write it down. Everyone has fears. You’re not alone in this fight. The first step is to always acknowledge your fear and write it down on pen and paper. That’s half the battle won.
– Feel the fear and ask yourself — “What’s the worse that can happen?” Really. Chances are, the worse that can happen is not that bad after all. You might fail and fall but you can also succeed and rise and you wouldn’t know that unless you physically try it out.
– Just do it and be in the moment. That’s it. Just do it and focus on the present moment. (Yes, I deliberately repeated that…) Whatever comes next will come depending on how you act right now.
– Take baby steps. Focus on changing habits one step at a time so you worry less.
– Celebrate small successes. Be kind to yourself and celebrate what you have achieved thus far.
If you want more reading on how to conquer any fear, be sure to check out one of my past posts here: How To Conquer Any Fear Any Time
Share with me…
Are you aware of any of these fears or did you just realise them all now? What is the one thing that’s holding you back from achieving your fitness goals? Share with me, by leaving a reply and comment below, I would love to help.
To all my readers who celebrates the Chinese New Year of The Horse, Happy New Year to you and your family!
Have a great weekend.