How Do You Handle Change?

Change is the only constant in life. When I became a Pilates Instructor I went through changes mentally and physically. Some changes with Pilates were positive and some were negative. When I realized some of the negative changes were caused by stress they went away. Change happens through movement, physical and mental, and it’s up to us to know how to handle that change. 

I was given the book ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ from my former boss in Wisconsin. I’ve seen her make big changes in her life and with a smile on her face the whole time. The story of this book is so simple that some have criticized it. No matter how simple, the message is easy to understand: the cheese is moved and you need to go find it! Change is the cheese and it will always be moving. You can decide to stay and eat the cheese until it’s gone and maybe a bit moldy, or you can go out and search for new cheese, better cheese even. 

This book is great for critical thinking during these times. Change is happening and how we respond shows how we accept change. The characters’ names are Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw. Sniff and Scurry are successful and are always looking for cheese. They saw the signs coming and changed. Hem, well, the name says it all. Haw learned he needed to laugh at himself and eventually looked for new cheese leaving Hem behind. He didn’t forget about him though. 

Mike and I both read this book so we could talk about it. We’ve found ways that we can relate it to his job and my own. My cheese was moved when teaching Pilates in person wasn’t an option because of the global pandemic. You could say that friends are my cheese and now I need to sniff and scurry looking for new ones in Texas. One of the most important things I learned in this book is remembering to laugh at myself more. Just because we’re adults does not mean we need to be so serious. The same is true for Pilates, it’s meant to be fun!

When I became a Pilates instructor I was working full time while starting my program and planning my wedding. I would get a couple of hours in on weekends. It was a slow and steady progress. During my training I had acid reflux which is completely new for me and felt nauseous every morning before work. The doctor recommended I do the BRAT (bananas, rice, apples, toast) diet. After eating a lot of bananas I began having really bad stomach pains (worse than menstrual cramps) and they wouldn’t go away after napping. I also took a prescription for acid reflux. I ended up losing a lot of weight and not gaining any because I also had GI issues. It was very unpleasant and the BRAT diet was not having any positive results, in fact I think the bananas were causing the bad stomach pains.

Eventually I finished the acid reflux prescription and stopped needing it. I don’t eat bananas anymore unless they are cooked. After eating so many bananas they don’t appeal to me and I may have a tree allergy to them. I never found out why my body was acting that way. There was never a true diagnosis and I don’t have anymore GI issues and rarely get acid reflux.

Stress has a way of taking a toll on our bodies. How we handle situations can be felt and seen in our body. There are many factors for our stress too: relationships, jobs, environment that we live in and outside. When I decided to become a Pilates instructor it was a big change. The fact that it was new (and exciting!) is what I came to believe for the cause of my experience. I was preparing to move my cheese and it felt like I was eating moldy cheese all the time. Then all of sudden I was ready for my new cheese. I even look back and laugh at all the bananas I ate like a monkey. 

The thing to remember is even if things don’t feel normal right now, know that it will change again. How you react to change reflects in your body and actions. Sometimes we just need to accept it and that doesn’t mean you have to like it. Ask yourself, is this change really that bad? Or is this change going to help others? There’s always something to learn from change. 

Have you read the book Who Moved My Cheese? Have you found yourself stressing about change? Let me know!

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