I flew to Vegas this week for business.
It was only an hour flight, but I’m not a great flyer. In fact, I used to be absolutely terrified to step foot on a plane.
Years ago, the mere thought of flying triggered panic attacks worse than the ones I have thinking of my hair stylist closing down her shop and leaving no forwarding address.
Obviously this made vacation time that much more fun. And by “more fun” I mean the total opposite.
But I’m extremely stubborn (keep in mind my Italian heritage, where people who don’t fall in line wake up to a horse head in their bed), and I have this thing about allowing some silly phobia to control my life.
After all, what could go wrong when you’re hurtling through the air, without any visible means of support, in a silver tube flying at 600 mph, right?
Clearly, my fears are totally unfounded.
But here’s the thing: I have things I want to do, like go to conventions, vacation and other things outside a 50-mile radius of my house. This requires either flying, driving for days or running non-stop like Forrest Gump until I reach my destination.
And if I miss out on these things because I can’t fly, well, that’s not going to work for me.
So back in the late 80s I signed up with a therapist who specialized in phobias.
She used a method call “tapping” to relieve anxiety, where you use your fingertips to literally tap points on your face (e.g. under your eyes, temples) and body in a sequence that was alleged to “realign” your energy in a way that takes away your fear.
The tapping sites relate to the same meridians used in acupuncture.
Before you hit the unsubscribe button, thinking I left my brain in Las Vegas, please hear me out.
Because believe it or not, it works
Back then it was called The Callahan Method, named after Dr. Callahan who created this tactic, but today many psychotherapists simply refer to it as “tapping away fear” or something similar.
It took practice and determination but eventually I was able to effectively rid myself of my fear to the point where I felt this could actually work.
As a “graduation” of sorts, I, my therapist and a flight instructor piled into a small, four-seater, plane at a local airport. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was windy enough that the pilot suggested to my therapist that we do this another day.
She told him I had plans to fly the following week and this was the only time we could “test out” my new DIY phobia eliminator tactic. It would’ve been nice to be privy to that discussion.
But, since I was no consulted on this death-defying event, off we went.
Let’s just say that by the end of that flight I got to know the pilot more intimately than he or I had planned. I don’t think I’ve ever squeezed anyone’s leg so many times in a single hour as each wind gust sent the plane in a different trajectory.
It was a Worst Case Scenario of Flying Fear, but I passed. Yes, I was still a bit nervous, but I was not panicky or totally freaked out, which was the case in the past.
Flying on a regular, traditional passenger plane the following week was cake.
I still get nervous, but it’s no longer an actual phobia.
This leads me to my point: What fears do you have that take you away from achieving your goals?
For example, do you unknowingly sabotage your weight loss with unfounded fears? Check out these common ones and see if they may fit:
1. Fear of not being perfect
“I try to eat perfectly but it’s just impossible!” I’ve heard women say. Truth is, no one’s diet is “perfect.” I’m not even sure I know what that means, actually.
I’m guessing most people assume personal trainers and nutritionists never stray from a perfectly proportioned diet of fresh vegetables and fruit, organic and clean everything, carefully measured portions, and calculated out to a precise number of grams of protein, fat and carbs.
No alcohol, chocolate, cupcakes or cookie dough eaten straight out of the container or anything that’s seen the inner shelves of a grocery store.
They’d be wrong.
At least partly. I can’t vouch for all other trainers, but I can say I don’t know a single one who’s anywhere near this strict with themselves unless they’re training for a competition.
In fact, one has a penchant for red vines, which I will never understand, and another will eat a pound bag of M&Ms if given the opportunity. (Side note: I may or may not be including myself in one of those scenarios.)
The reality: Use the 80/20 rule! Eat right 80% or more of the time and the rest will take care of itself.
2. Fear of asking for help
“I know what to do I’m just not doing it,” is another common mantra. I’m not sure I believe this one. I don’t think most women DO know what to do. I have a nutrition degree and I can’t figure out what I need sometimes. And after 50, this becomes even a greater mystery to unravel.
Thinking you “should be able to figure this out” on your own can leave you in the muck and mire of bad habits and denial for way longer than necessary.
The reality: It’s best to have an objective, professional (e.g. a qualified, certified person who does this for a living) third party evaluate your eating habits or fitness routine. This enables you to take a shortcut to success, versus trying this and that until maybe something clicks. (SEE MY NOTE BELOW IFYOU NEED HELP IN THIS AREA…)
3. Fear of discomfort
Think for a moment of some major change that occurred in your life. Whether it’s raising children, getting divorced, getting married, financing a home, moving, etc. The only way to get to the “good stuff” was to get past a major obstacle, right?
The only way to completely avoid any discomfort would be to lie in bed, pull the covers over your head and do nothing.
And actually that wouldn’t work, either, because you’d end up with bed sores, unpaid bills, and no life.
So there’s that.
The reality: Losing weight and getting fit is like that, too.
Until you make it part of your routine, it will be uncomfortable. But it’s not forever. At some point it starts to get easier. And easier. Before you know it you’re so hooked into your new routine you *gasp* actually look forward to working out and maybe even that kale salad.
The key: You need to be consistent and give it enough time to take hold.
And speaking of asking for help…
IF YOU’RE A SUBSCRIBER (and if you’re not yet, sign up today by filling out the above sign-in box!) LOOK FOR AN EMAIL FROM ME THIS WEEK ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF MY NEW NUTRITION PLAN!
No more guessing, calculating or throwing darts at a wall. You will know exactly what to eat, when, and how much in order to achieve your goals!
I am so excited about this plan, because it’s one I use when I need to “fine-tune” myself.
So look for that.
What fears do you have that hold you back from getting the results you want to see? Let me know in the comments section below! Or if you’ve overcome a phobia, I’d love to hear how you did it.
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