Monday, June 15, 2015

Swiss Cheese

My dietitian, once again, shared one of her fabulous analogies.  This time, it had to do with one of my favorite indulgences, Swiss Cheese.

Right now, I'm going through a major transition that has rocked my entire world.  While it is all good stuff that is happening, and great places where I'm headed, it's still left me incredibly unsteady on my feet, and I feel as if the ground is constantly moving beneath me.  That makes it pretty near impossible to feel like I'm able to stand on my own two feet.

Enter the Swiss Cheese analogy.

Imagine a big block of Swiss Cheese.  It's got those holes all over it that go straight to the core of the block.  Now, picture those holes filling up with different things - say, pimentos, pickles, other cheese, maybe even some mold (hey, it goes with cheese, right?!)  What we have is no longer a block of Swiss Cheese.  It's something that resembles Swiss Cheese, yet it's been overpowered by the other flavors that filled in the holes.

Ok.  Let's make it personal.  Imagine a person as a block of Swiss Cheese.  Standing tall, full of holes.  When things happen, when life happens, they dive into the holes and stew on what fills them - the argument, the fear, the stress, the family, the job, the financials, the stuff that is out of their control.  That person is going to be pretty unsteady, full of all sorts of stuff that negatively impacts all they do.

Now picture that same person, only this time, they choose to fill their holes in with positive experiences - like journal writing, exercise, healthy choices, good friends, and so forth.  These experiences fill the holes so that the core of the person is protected.  That way, when things happen, the world will still go on, negative things will still swirl around you, but they no longer have the ability to hit you at your core.  Instead, you filled the holes with self-chosen, positive experiences, and now when the world's chaos hits, you can let it bounce off and laugh.

Pretty powerful imagery in my mind.  Right now, I am so that block of Swiss Cheese, full of holes, constantly being attacked at my core by perceived threats to me and my safety.  However, I am (finally) working hard to fill the holes.  Seeing my therapist twice a week, my dietitian once a week, making intentional choices when it comes to eating, seriously attempting to add exercise to my routine, choosing a career change that will challenge me daily, and encourage me to be truly me.  All of those choices will fill the holes in my world, helping to protect and strengthen my core.

And one day, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, one day, I will be able to stand on my own feet no matter what is swirling around me.  (Knowing, of course, that my "support" team is only a phone call away!)


  1. Quite unusual comparison but I can imagine it. Positive things may really change person's attitude but I guess he/she should really want the change, and start taking steps towards it. We can't change our live without gatting out of houses.

    1. It is an unusual one, isn't it? Then again, my dietitian is of the unusual sort, I think, in the most wonderful way. You nailed it with this - we can't change our lives without getting out of houses - Love that!


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