One of our challenges this week for RockIt is to write about two of our roadblocks that may prevent us from reaching our health goals. Both of mine have the same core principal.
FEAR OF FAILURE: I am a perfectionist. I have to do things perfectly or not do them at all. This doesn't fare well for my dreams in life, which are 1. To get to my goal weight and no longer be "obese" and 2. Publish a novel.
See, sometimes I just stand on the sidelines because it's better to not try at all and look like a fool, than try and fail. Right? Wrong. This is the very thinking I'm trying to obliterate, but it is what stalls me sometimes. I'm not the fastest runner. I will never be "perfect" at running. For me, it is an imperfect sport, and therefore it doesn't fit into the square cutout of my ideal -- but that is also the beauty of it. I can run and flail my arms about if I want to. (Remember the Friends episode where Phoebe runs?) Yes, I will look silly, but I would still be technically running. I would still be burning calories. With writing if I don't get words down on the page, there will be nothing to edit. So without my willingness to step out on the ledge and jump, there will be no story, no art, no beauty. Without being willing to jump, and possibly fall, I will remain the exact same person as I am today. No growth. No movement.
One of my favorite Woody Allen quotes is "A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies." Well I think the same rings true for us as humans. We need to keep learning, and failing, and learning from those mistakes, to truly grow and become the people we were meant to be.
I am a comic geek, and love the quote Batman's father says to a young Bruce Wayne after he falls. "And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” It's hard but I do think that every setback makes us stronger and the next time a situation presents itself we handle it a little better each time. And then we may have a huge setback, but we always get back up.
FEAR OF SUCCEEDING: The opposite of fearing failure. Seems silly, right? But how many of us are overweight because of the protection that being larger offered us? (...Raises hand.) Being a larger woman I could be passed by and ignored. I have been mistreated in my life, in my past. By men. When I was a svelte size 6 and considered by some to be beautiful. After certain tragedies in my life, I turned to food. It not only comforted me, it padded me from the world and its risks. I lived over ten years of my life in this fat bubble. To be breaking out of it and seeing men staring at this new creature emerging, to have men open doors for me, to be flirted with, all of this is scary. Yes, I am married now to a wonderful man. But it doesn’t make that attention any less scary, not for someone who has been burned so badly that she is scarred.
I recently lost my childhood best friend unexpectedly. She was young, 37. It was her heart. And while we still talked via text, email and occassionally on the phone, we hadn't seen each other in almost 15 years. Why? Because I had gained 100 lbs. in the span of a year at the age of 24. And I was afraid for her to see me like that. I didn't want her to see what I had become....and felt that she would reject me. Would she have? No. But that was how I lived those 10 + years of my life, living in fear, staying indoors, not having the children we wanted...I lived in a prison that I created myself. This bubble is no longer serving me, and must be burst.
I am no longer going to let fear define, restrict or drive me.
Another quote from Batman, when Henri Ducard says to Bruce Wayne before training him “What you really fear, is inside yourself. You fear your own power .. your own anger... the drive to do great - (or terrible) - things.”
What if what I am really afraid of, in both of my roadblocks, is my own power? That I have the power inside of me to change? Perhaps it’s my own instinct to keep things at the status quo, to avoid change. Change is scary, right?
The thing is, we all have this power inside of us and I think that for me, once I reach my lowest weight (which coincidentally just happened before I hit my 11 month record-setting plateau), I get scared. I see a part of me I haven’t seen in such a long time. And terrible things happened to that smaller person. This weight has protected me, like a blanket. And sometimes shedding that blanket is much more mental than it is physical.
I am going to be strong and let my body take shape and know that now is not my past, I am not defined by my past, and I can step out into the light, and embrace the freedom that comes with it.
Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
~ Marianne Williamson