YOU’VE HEARD OF THE 5 STAGES OF GRIEF, THIS IS HOW IT APPLIES TO A NEW YOU.
The 5 stages of grief are….denial, anger, sadness, bargaining, acceptance.
As we’ve been talking the past couple weeks about making fundamental changes to our experiences in the world, I want to spend some time talking about the grief that can come up when making permanent lifestyle changes.
IT’S EASY TO THINK YOU’D LIKE TO WAKE UP IN THAT PERFECT BODY YOU’VE BEEN DREAMING OF, OR HAVE THAT NEW HOUSE, INCREASED INCOME, NEW ROMANCE, BUT THE PART THAT TRIPS SO MANY PEOPLE UP, IS THEY FORGET ABOUT WHAT THEY HAVE TO LEAVE BEHIND WHEN THEIR DREAMS COME TRUE.
It didn’t occur to me when I made the decision to deal with my weight nearly 3 years ago.
One of the hardest parts was deciding to give up sugar and refined flours (yes…even gluten free).
It took lots of denial, anger, bargaining, and sadness, before I successfully made the transition….because my identity was wrapped up in lots of stories about food.
Ever since I was 4 years old I have been cooking and feeding people.
“Who would I even be if I wasn’t cooking and feeding people?” Sugar and flour figured prominently into that version of me.
At first I was a hard no about eliminating flour and sugar.
When I didn’t have the results I was after while keeping my beloved flour and sugar in my diet, I got pissed. “It’s not fair!!!!”
Then came the bargaining….”how about just once a week?”
Then came the torrents of sadness.
Honestly, I shed buckets of tears wondering if my children would still love me if I wasn’t cooking all their old favorites. Would my friends still invite me to parties?
I DIDN’T HAVE AN IDENTITY THAT DIDN’T INCLUDE FOOD AND COOKING. I ALSO SPENT THE VAST MAJORITY OF MY DAY CONSUMED WITH THOUGHTS OF FOOD.
I was also 40# overweight and growing.
Acceptance finally came. No more fighting and flailing. Relief.
I can tell you from the other side, the transition was a bumpy ride, I wallowed in every single one of the stages….”oh it’s different for me, I’m a special unicorn and I need pie…you just don’t understand. I get headaches and dizzy if I don’t get them.”
Thank god I had a patient coach to hold my hand and get me through. One who had been there and done it herself. Someone I trusted with all my deep down fears and garbage.
Heck yes, I needed a coach…I was too close to my own BS to do it alone.
SO, THE QUESTION IS; ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP YOUR OLD IDENTITY TO GET WHAT YOU SAY YOU WANT?
Permanent weight loss involves;
- Giving up the dopamine hits of commiserating with your friends about failed diet attempts or your lumpy thighs.
- Giving up hating on yourself for every tiny mistake.
- Giving up on always looking for the next perfect plan.
- Allowing compliments.
- Allowing pride in yourself (harder than you think.)
Likewise, increasing your income may cause you to change jobs or neighborhoods, or maybe not hang out with the same old friends as often as before. You may be busy doing other things with new people and you risk being hated on by your old crew.The “oh you’re too good for us now” routine. Moving between worlds can be lonely, they don’t want you as much in your old life and you’re not sure how to fit into the new one.
Falling in love; finding the perfect mate…you’ll be so busy figuring out how to do your new dance that you’ll have less time for the friends and family that have seen you through. People may be happy for you, but also be disappointed that they don’t get as much time with you. It’s impossible to keep everyone happy.
SO THAT NEW FIGURE, THE BIGGER INCOME, THE NEW HOUSE, THE NEW ROMANCE, THEY ALL COME AT THE PRICE OF GIVING UP SOMETHING.
You won’t achieve lasting success doing the same things you’re doing now.
AND LASTING CHANGE IS NOT A PRODUCT OF DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY …FOR AWHILE…THEN GETTING BACK TO THE OLD ROUTINE.
You can be in denial, angry, sad or bargaining, but that doesn’t change the fact that to become something different than what you’re experiencing in the world right now, you’ll have to do something different.
If you’re sure you are all in and you just need help navigating the turbulent waters of change, I’ve got you.