~Deer in Headlights Syndrome Moments~

A mental state of high arousal caused by anxiety, fear, panic, surprise and/or confusion. A person experiencing the “deer in headlights” syndrome often shows behavioral signs reminding those of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights.

This is how it’s been for me during the past 9 days.  The anxiety, confusion, fear and panic of change is literally killing me, making me weak, making me doubt myself and my abilities, making me feel vulnerable, making me feel insecure, making me want to constantly seek affirmation, making me disengage from normal routine, making me physically ill and yes, making me feel very guilty!

My decision to move into a up-scaling of my regular exercise and eating plans has been a faulty one to start with, it was the fear of letting go of what I had become accustomed to, what has literally been my life for the past 8 and a half months and is that which has sustained me and become my cozy comfort zone – hardly surprising, as habit forming is easy…it’s the letting go that is now the big challenge and two weeks in, I can’t seem to get this right!!!


Change is never easy… the Chief Procrastinator in getting started, from lofty beginnings and ideals to the actual transformation is a chapter in my book that I never imagined I would write. It was a giant leap of self-faith that has made this happen, and I am needing another dose of this self-faith to take me through and beyond this current phase of medical and physical healing through healthy choices…and while I fought to hold on to every aspect of the detox phase of my plan, which in some ways has shackled me to it’s baseline, I find that I am now fighting the same shackles to let it go.

Often during this past week I have felt like I’ve been caught with my hand in the cookie jar…introducing honey into my eating plan was an addition that I wanted to make a while back but never got to it and when I finally decided that it would be the opportune time to have it now, taking a 1/4 teaspoon in liquid or in a sugar free dessert preparation, my system refuses to tolerate it…so it’s possibly two areas I need to work on, firstly, losing the guilt about healthy additions in my diet and secondly, finding a way that my body accepts these new additions.  I seriously felt as though I was cheating in my meal plans, keeping this detox way of eating as a lifestyle change?  Hardly sustainable, but fully giving up detox is like a divorcing myself from my reality to a certain extent.  In keeping it real therefore I have to have at least 1-2 Reboot days a week, maybe this will make me feel less guilty?

Another deer in the headlights moment is self-affirmation – which although very needful in a journey of change and self-discovery, is also an extremely expensive “venture”.  So I know I have lost 37 kgs, I know that I can now comfortably fit into a size 34 from a former size 44 and 46 but what I don’t know is how I look – I keep on seeing the old me and what is draining me both financially and psychologically, is the need to constantly shop for sized 34 clothing – eating away at my savings but affirming that yes, I am transformed – kind of skewed, I think!

The enormity of my transformation hit me in another way today and made me think about my past, searching my mind annals to actually “see” the old me…  I met a guy (who’s now very much my age)  who owns the store I was shopping in, and he recognized me from my matric year and looked at me quite disbelievingly and asked, “what happened to you?  You are half the size you used to be” – this made me realize that I have been carrying the weight load for over 28 years now and makes me even more determined never to go back to that space!

I can only think that the anxiety, confusion, fear, surprise, and all the other symptoms are part of the process and like a deer caught in the headlights, I am rooted to the spot in that moment, not sure of which way to go, which is the way that will lead me to the right path?, which is the way that will cause a detour?.  But the deer will survey the brightness of those same lights that blinded it, and use it’s very beams as a beacon to show it the way….


Print Friendly

Prava Singh

A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *