We have been hearing a lot about uncertainty in the UK over the past week as a result of the EU vote, and will no doubt hear plenty more in the weeks to come, but we all face uncertainty in our lives every day. Some of this we have control over, some we do not. This is significant in our relationship with food, to which many of us have emotional attachments.
When we start to upgrade our food choices, we begin to change emotionally and physically. We are, in effect, becoming better versions of ourselves; our cells become healthier and more vibrant, we think more clearly, and we might realise that we have been repeating behaviours which no longer serve us. This can feel threatening – not just to ourselves, but also those around us. Change can be a good thing, but we have to be ready not just for the physical improvements it brings, but also for some temporary emotional disturbances. Being ready to deal with this is going to have a big impact on whether we see the change as positive and stick with it, or see it as negative, and lapse back into old habits because they are “safe”.
Beware of the crabs
In a recent personal development meeting that I attended, the speaker gave an illustration of “the crabs” – outside forces that are trying to hold you back. Think of crabs in a pot, destined, poor things, for market. One crab starts to climb up the inside of the pot, not necessarily realising that therein lies the route to freedom, but dissatisfied with being stuck at the bottom, being clambered over by all the others. Rather than cheer him on, the other crabs start to grab his legs with their pincers, trying to drag him back down again to where it is “safe”. Down there, as it turns out, isn’t safe, but they believe that the status quo is less scary than the possibility of freedom, and want everyone to be in the same boat (or pot).
Are there any “crabs” holding you back from what you are trying to achieve? Is anyone negative towards you in regard to your desire for healthier dietary and lifestyle habits? This is likely to be a reflection of their beliefs about themselves, not you, but ultimately you are the one who is going to have to deal with it. Are you ready for the challenge?
A word of advice – belligerence, evangelicism and a “holier-than-thou” approach rarely works. It’s far better, in my experience, to explain what you are doing and why, tell people that you value their friendship but are making these changes because you feel it is the best thing for you. If they are really your friends, they will understand. And if they are not, sometimes you have to let things, and people, go when they are not aligned with your true life purpose. This can be painful, but it is the only way that we can ultimately grow.
Have I managed to remain cool, calm and collected on every occasion that someone has challenged my lifestyle? Certainly not; particularly not at the start of my radical lifestyle upgrading, during which time I was more than a little defensive. I’m far from perfect emotionally, and freely admit that. But I can tell you something – explaining who you are, the direction you are moving in and the reasons for it, whilst at the same time remaining open and non-judgmental, gets so much easier with time.
And finally –
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.