What’s Under the Fear of Change?

Laurie's long hair
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This is a quick photo of my hair at its best – colored, professionally blown-out and attached to a rested face. Yet, I’m pretty sure I’m letting it go in the spring. Back to handy short hair that’s easily washed and quick to comb – possibly grey. Why? Read on.

The New Truck

Last show, I pondered greatly and shared my anxiety over the fact the we had to purchase a new truck. You can see photos of this beauty on the show notes of Day 150. It is a big, beautiful truck that handles great, solves a BIG transportation problem, fits BOTH big tall Mark and shorter me really well. Our old truck has served us for years, yet now has become unreliable. We cannot trust ever, that we will return home sans tow-truck. Not a great way to travel. Mark and I are savers and careful with spending. This is a good thing. We had savings ready for a whoppin’ big down payment and our research was ready to make sure our deal fit our finances. So why is my heart still palpitating like we got terrible news?

Dawny commented after last show:

Wowow. What a beautiful truck miss Laurie. Congrats. Uh. I think. The price. Payment. Not so much. I truly feel your pains there. Ugh. Hopefully the rewards you reap help off set that.

This new purchase has so many rewards. It is a great truck. I’m fortunate to afford it. Mark loves it. It has cool features. Way cooler than old, unreliable. But my mind is FIXATED on the negative. It makes me sick to my stomach to see the huge downtick in our savings. It makes me freak out to have monthly payments again – even though I can afford it in my budget and we accounted for that. It makes me sooooo anxious to park it anywhere, because I’m scared of bumping the new finish or having someone open their door on it. Hmmmmmmmmm, sound familiar?

Jo from the UK also commented after last show:

What a beautiful shiny big ol’ truck!!! Enjoy your new purchase as it was required and not a crazy indulgence

Jo is right! We didn’t just take our savings and bet it on a horserace or go on a cruise we couldn’t afford or buy a timeshare we might regret. We purchased a new car – something we haven’t done for over 12 years to relace a car that’s 20 years old.

My main anxiety is that this is a new way of living. I didn’t worry about the old truck (outside of wondering if I’d actually get to my destination). It was already dinged. It was cheap. It was familiar. Many of its controls no longer functioned. But it had been my truck for decades. I know how to drive it. I know how it feels. I know who I am when I’m driving that truck.

Beautiful new truck scares the daylights out of me. I’m sitting higher in the driver’s seat. It has a backup camera (good thing), but I’m not used to cameras yet. It’s longer and wider in the lane. It has a zillion buttons. It starts without a key (I HATE that). I’m used to taking my key out of the ignition and putting it back in my purse or hiking pack and thence to my special key place in my house. I’m a key loser. And a glasses loser. And a phone loser. etc. etc. I have processes, thanks to my compulsive brain, that helps me keep track and fancy new trucks that act weird do not help me!

It’s Not You, It’s Me!

See BCs, it’s not the truck, it’s ME! I like things to stay the same, because I have built up an illusion of safety around the status quo – even when change is the best possible thing.

Hmmmm, my diet and eating behavior was the same for decades too. I knew just what to do with that. Processes were pretty consistent, even if the next diet miracle method might change. I knew how to feel about myself according to the scale. I knew if I’d done well or not by my diet diary. This whole intuitive eating thing terrified me just like this new truck does.

So many people I’ve met have advised me to write a book about my experience with Compulsive Overeating Diary. They think it would be a hopeful and interesting story. But even after all these years and all of the positives from doing this show and meeting all of you online or off, I still cannot wrap my head around my story being a worthwhile read for anyone since I don’t have any answer and I remained at a higher weight than I first thought. I just can’t help feeling like a failure. It is instinctive. It is status quo. It is the way I’m used to thinking about myself.

Now this admission is probably not a surprise to most of you. But it does still make me sad. This doesn’t mean I think I should go on a diet immediately and become thin so I can have a best seller that would be popular and get me a seat on Oprah. It’s more that I’m trying to understand myself. Like the greatness of the new truck’s features, my lessons from Compulsive Overeating Diary and my experience with intuitive eating and learning to eat as naturally as I could, have so many outstanding benefits. I have listed them for you over the years. You’ve seen my growth and my bravery. But sometimes, I just cannot get out of my rut to appreciate them.

Beauty Doesn’t Always Feel Like It’s Within

Another rut I’m facing is my long hair. My hair was always thick and curly, and my only claim to beauty. I grew up in the 60s and 70s where long hair was a great feature to have and valued. Even bullies who made fun of my hips would say nice things about my hair. Long hair also feels like protection. Easy to hide behind. I loved my hair. But when I hit 40, I thought, ‘Hmmm getting to the age where I’ll have enough grey to dye my hair, and I don’t want to dye all of this thick, long, hair.’ So on a whim, I walked into a beauty parlor off the street and said, ‘cut it.’

It was a terrible haircut that day, and I cried. Luckily, my hair grows fast, so I soon got something more stylish and kept my hair short for years after that. It was much more convenient for washing – especially after bike riding and working out like a fiend in the gym. I felt like I was masquerading as a grown-up too. My long hair was my younger self. Not for middle aged me.

Then came my bike accident. Boy howdy, talk about status-quo change! Couldn’t speak, think, process, figure stuff out. Couldn’t exercise for months. Months of seeing doctors of every type. Off work, then completely retired from work at friggin’ 52 years of age. Blink of an eye, I’m completely different – except…

During this time, my hair grew out.

It was comforting. It was familiar. And it wasn’t as grey as I feared – at least at first. I thought it would be fun to experience my long hair one more time. One more time that turned into several years.

And it is a royal pain to take care of! LOL. My beauty is my bane. It’s like my familiar old truck that’s great, except it doesn’t get you where you need to be. Or my old familiar diet plans, that are great, except they lead me down some compulsive roads that aren’t worth it to me.

My long hair can be very beautiful. After hundreds of dollars and hours of time. And once upon a time, the veil of beauty and comfort it gave me was so very worth it. Once upon a time, I knew who I was on my diet in my old truck and waving my braid around. Today I’m contemplating a new style as I drive my new steed to the mountain to talk about my feelings instead of heading for the chips.

Maybe someday, I’ll have that book showing me with short hair and smiling because the best ending of all would be me, at peace with the status quo of change.

Comments box:

17 thoughts on “What’s Under the Fear of Change?

  1. Josephine

    Hi Laurie,
    I hear the angst in your words but rest assured, “this too shall pass.” Before you know it, the new truck will be a familiar friend and best of all, it’s a reliable one. It’s hard to say goodbye to old friends, even if sometimes they turn out to be trucks.

    And dear Laurie, let me encourage you about your hair. I cried with you when you talked about someone hurling rude and hurtful remarks about your legs when you were walking outside in shorts. I have had the same experiences so don’t think I have ever been ‘one of the beautiful people’. I don’t know how people can be so cruel. So imagine my surprise and delight when I decided stop coloring my hair and it turned out to be (I’m told) a beautiful silvery shade of blonde. And I had never been a blonde in my life! I have actually had people stop and tell me how beautiful the color of my hair is and ask me where I get it done. I tell them “The Good Lord” and that is the truth. I would love for you to keep your long hair and let it go natural. You might just love it! And if not, it’s easily cut or colored at that point. But why not try it and see? You might just have people stopping you to remark on your beautiful hair.
    Your fellow BC….hanging in there with you. xoxo

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Ah, sweetest Josephine. Your words mean so much to me. You are correct that I feel I’m going through a watershed of anguish recently. Life is constant change, but lately I feel I’m in the world of funhouse mirrors! Congrats on your beautiful silver hair. Mine may get there, but no way to transition my current brown length to my own color except to grow it out. And to have the massive stripe for the years needed is too much. So short is not only convenient, but the first step to getting my true color back. It is very emotional. But I thought when I chopped at 40 that was the last time I would have long hair and look what happened! So I’m trying to embrace never saying never. I drove the new truck yesterday to a comedy class in Burbank and I think I’m getting the hang of it. It is truly a blessing and a cool vehicle, so once it feels more like part of my life, the more I will love it. Thanks again for your support, hard times are hard, but truly easier when I feel supported. xoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Josephine

        You are so welcome, dear Laurie. I’m proud of you for having a plan for your hair and I think you definitely win the Bravery Prize on the day you actually cut it. It IS traumatic but just remember how much you mean to all of us BCs no matter what length your hair is. And I’m also proud of you for driving the new truck. You always have my support, dear friend. XOXO

        Reply
        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Thanks! I’m feel much better about the truck, have been moving it and learning more of the controls. Funny how things are in slightly different places on different vehicles. Making progress on the vehicle front. My hair is a work in progress. I’m thinking I truly do want the ease of shorter, easily washed hair and I would LOVE to get the dye-job off my calendar, but it is a big decision and a bit shocking, so I’m letting myself sit with the idea for awhile. Not in a hurry, but it is a great illustration of the thinking and build of feelings I get tangled in – and how those chips came into play for all of these years. Thanks again for your comments and support, it really does help.

          Reply
  2. Dawny

    I would read your book Laurie. And if I could I’d buy a million copies just to assure your heart you are worthy!!! I’m thankful always that Ive met your heart. Some day I hope to meet your face =~}.

    Reply
  3. Dave

    Laurie,

    Your fear of something new (the truck and or hair cut, even writing a book) is real and valid. Please take the time to process those emotions, feel them, pod cast about them and share them.

    I’m going to be hard and upfront with you. It is none of your @#$% business if “story being a worthwhile read for anyone”, we the BC know your story and the struggles, the feelings, the ups and downs are all a million times more important than your body size. 1) You are still growing and learning as a person and when your mind loves you as much as we do, your body will match the image in your head. 2) I’m pretty sure the BC’s will agree with me, we don’t listen to you because you have the perfect body, we listen to you because you have an awesome spirit and your ups and downs match ours and lift us all. 3) You need to be honest with yourself. it is not about “story being a worthwhile read for anyone”, it is about your fear of trying something new, fear of putting yourself out to an even bigger audience, and the fear of how you are might feel if your book does not hit the best seller list.

    Write the book !!!!!! You too are a Brave Companion, we believe in you, we love you and we support you.

    As for the truck, I’m guessing since you don’t fully love yourself, you don’t feel worthy of nice stuff.
    You made a well thought out , solidly researched purchase, let your self enjoy it.

    BTW while frustrating, nicks, dings, and scratches are a part of live, your heart has them, your body has them and the truck will get them.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Dave! Wow, I think you’ve proved by your honest tough love, that you REALLY CARE about me. I think you have given me much to ponder. For the truck, I’m getting over that and making good progress. I’m not sure if it is a lack of worth, or just my need to control things. Feeling like I have to control soooo much of my behavior let alone uncontrollable environments – like what will happen in a parking lot or even while diving, is super duper tough – as I have this craving for keeping the truck perfect. What’s weird, at the same time I hope Mark will get a ding on it, so I can relax. I know this is my brain following paths I have been trying to break, so I have been driving and finding joy in the new truck. I wrote about it because I was pretty surprised that such a wonderful event should cause me angst. Maybe you have a point and it goes more deeply than I’m aware of.

      For the book, I think you are also right. I don’t want to set myself up for even more rejection. I think if my story had ended with an intuitively gotten thin body, it would have been like a hollywood blockbuster with the happy ending, and many would have flocked to it for this example and I would have felt proud of myself (for all this external proof to shore up my esteem). Instead, I went the warts and all route – more like the Swedish indie movie that appeals to a narrow niche audience – and yet that narrow audience is very into the film. I think that writing such a book, like doing the podcast, has to appeal to me as a journey, as there is no predicting the outcome. So far, because I’ve already lived my story, the rehash doesn’t feel like something I want to do. I really need an editor to help me figure out what’s import to the narrative, as I don’t have a good distance from my autobiography. So part of why I wrote about it in the blog, is that people see different things from the outside than we do from the inside. I also love your point that you think when my mind loves me as much as you do, it will allow my body to change in line with that. Very interesting. I have been focusing much of my meditation on self-love, gratitude and acceptance, so will have a chance to see if your hypothesis holds up. In the meantime, it means very much to me that you continue to share yourself and your opinions in such an honest and supportive way. You are a rockstar friend, Dave. xoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Dave

        Control and perfection, our two biggest Robot Aliens.

        Kathleen and I recently participated in a Paint and Sip class.

        Talk about stress, I have always doubted my drawing/painting skills and I had to fight hard to relax and ignore the RA’s (I almost wished I drank), however the painting turned out better than expected.

        I could come down and put a nick, ding or scratch in the truck for you…..LOL

        As has been said before, we can not control the world around us we can only control (if barely sometimes) how we react to the world.

        Write the book with the intention of sharing yourself, warts and all, if you decide not to publish it that is ok. But the process may help you purge all the hidden RA’s that you have not addressed yet. Have you discussed this with your writing group?

        Love D & K XOXOXO

        Reply
    2. Josephine

      Hi Dave,
      I agree with you, especially #2, which I couldn’t have said better myself. And your last sentence-so true and so well put. Thank you for lots to ponder.

      Reply
  4. Dawny

    Omg. Friends…. I NEED to get this out. I learned something interesting about myself last night. I wanted something. I had no idea what just a hankering. Went in and took frozen peaches cut into chunks. Stirred in a peach yogurt added some cinnamon. It looked awesome!!!! I sat down to eat it. A bite. Mmmmm. It was indeed amazing. Ha. But as I looked at it. I wasn’t hungry. It wasn’t appealing. I didn’t even want it!! What?? So I REALLY just wanted to make it…. to make something?! Two lessons…. one I think I’m feeling empty nest syndrome (funny since my kids left a year ago AND I’ve even moved since then) AND I need to find an activity or craft so I can ‘make’ something to fill the need.. WOW!! This ‘work’. And digging into what’s really going on?!? Just wow

    Reply
    1. Dave G

      That is awesome Dawny. You were successful at processing your emotions and identifying your real need.

      The feeling that the work is difficult is real, and that mean you have the ability to accomplish difficult tasks.

      YOU ROCK !!!!!

      Reply
    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Wow Dawny, that is a HUGE win of an insight. Sometimes it IS more fun to make the food than to eat it. Sounds weird, but when I was a professional cook in a restaurant, I was actually one of my lower weights since I never wanted to eat much at home after cooking all day. Sounds like you have a golden opportunity, now your kiddos are launched, to find your own creative outlet. I’m thinking about dragging out my unfinished hook rug, since it’s been years. But I do love to do it. Thanks for the new thought to ponder. xoxoxoxo

      Reply
  5. Josephine

    Dear Laurie and Mark,
    I pray you are not near the wildfires! Nor any other BCs who are in California. May God keep you all safe.

    Reply

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