There are times when I feel like it would be easier for me to convince a patient to change his religious beliefs than to change the food he eats. Making the jump into healthy eating is difficult for those who are ready to change, and feels impossible for those who struggle with fear and psychological issues with food.
Having coached people all over the world on their journey to reclaim their health, I have found four common fears that block the path to health.
1. Fear of failure
Many people have done countless fad diets in an attempt to get healthy. They see short-term success but find themselves back where they started. This endless yo-yo cycle can be deflating and humiliating. I get it; no one wants to be a failure.
The truth is that the idea of being at square one is an illusion. Each experience that didn't turn out the way you hoped is a learning experience. You're stronger and wiser because of it. If you need to lose weight, stop trying to lose weight to get healthy. Instead, get healthy so you can lose weight.
I've written about the underlying causes of weight loss resistance that I see clinically. When you deal with these issues, weight loss is a natural byproduct of getting healthy.
2. Fear of success
Some people aren't ready to get healthy because of an unspoken fear of success. For years, they've found their identity in their health condition. They mistake their weight or their health condition for who they truly are. This fear can make the success of healthy changes seem daunting and scary.
I've also seen many people fear that others would reject them if they lost weight. If they got healthy, they feel like they wouldn't be able to relate to their friends.
Don't fear healthy success. You are more than your outer form. You have a long, abundant life to live. Live it.
3. Fear of admission
I speak to a lot of people who are in denial about their health issues. They're in denial about the severity of their issue. They compare themselves to someone who's worse off than they are, deflecting their own issues. These people often equate how they feel with how healthy they are. They think that because they can function during the day, their health is decent enough. If this is you, you're only hurting yourself and your loved ones by not admitting you need to reclaim your health.
4. Fear of responsibility
Possibly the most nefarious of them all, this fear can seem debilitating to confront. The idea that the food they eat, or don't eat, contributed to their lack of health can be scary. It can be so much easier to take a medication, ignore your declining health and hang your hat on genetics, believing nothing can be done about it.
The fact is, everything you eat will either create health or destroy it. Feed disease or destroy it. Eat as if your life depended on it, because it does. The foods we eat can turn off and turn on genetic expression. I have seen the worst cases of autoimmune and chronic diseases with genetic components become completely reversed with healthy lifestyle changes.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." For your life and health, this is a deep resounding truth. So what are you waiting for? If you were waiting for the right time, it's now. Clinically, I regularly see people who have waited too long to reclaim their health. If you don't know where in the world to start, try out my real food challenge here.