Yesterday, Tim spoke about the 3 things you should do to maintain your weight loss. His perspective captured what may happen when we hit our ‘goal’, whether a size, a number on that fickle scale, or attaining a fitness triumph (monkey bars for me!). I had another post ready to go for this morning, but reading Tim’s words moved me to reflect a bit more on my own experiences and post something I shared on my personal blog this week about Fear.
Life in general has labelled “normal” sized people as regular. “Oh, are you looking for regular size or plus?”. The power of words is something that I have always been interested in and as I have moved from the Plus Size stores to the “Normal” Size stores, I have been more aware of the terms themselves then ever before. Normal and Regular, in my opinion, sound kinda boring, but in reality is what most of us are striving for as we nip and tuck our pants to a smaller and healthier waist line.
(Advisory: explicit content ahead)
Some of you may find yourselves on the brink of transformation; maybe stuck on a plateau; maybe even down almost 100 pounds knowing you have further to go and just can’t seem to find the right equation to move forward. Are you constantly looking for answers from everyone around you? Do you KNOW what you need to do, but can’t seem to find the ambition or trust in yourself to forge ahead? Allow me to offer you a different perspective that came to me as I conquered the heaviest barbell overhead press EVER last Saturday – are you afraid of actually succeeding?
I did a little reading on this to better understand if I was brilliant enough to think this up myself. Total Spoiler: there are hundreds of articles on this subject; you are welcome to use the Googling Machine to find more scientific posts then mine. But I encourage you to read on.
We all have heard of self-sabotage. In fact, that’s was brought me to my therapist back about five months ago. I needed to better understand why it was that when success was happening, I started to abuse myself. It was a life-long, vicious cycle that I truly didn’t understand. Months of therapy and we never even touched on the topic – amazing what talking with an impartial party can do (more on that in another post one day, maybe). We didn’t get to the nitty-gritty of the why, but talking through a whole other shit-load of issues helped move through some of the mental barriers I was dealing with and opened up perspective to me.
So, adding that extra weight to my barbell Saturday.. this came in tandem with another NSV that same day. I tried on a dress I had won on a Facebook used-goods auction. I paid $12 for it. It was a size Large and I thought for certain it would fit one day (we’ve all been there – target outfit!!). I tried it on four months ago and it was super tight around my thighs (ya, the constant) and I couldn’t do up the zipper on the back. I was purging my closest and with the tag still in tact, I tossed this cute sleeveless black and white dress to the donation pile. Something quickly made me decide to try it on again. I walked over to the messy pile of used-to-be-favourites and picked it up.
This is what happened: 1. It slipped on over my bottom half perfectly (I instantly lost my breath and my heart started to quicken). 2. I got my kid to do up the zipper (I felt faint and didn’t know what to do with myself). It fit. Was this a heart attack I was experiencing? Was it a dream. I felt the goosebumps on my arms starting to form and I didn’t know what to do.
And in that moment, I remembered putting the plates on my bar and lifting that 70 lbs over my head to do six reps of an overhead press, a weight I had never pressed before. I was completely consumed with an overwhelming feeling of something. I couldn’t figure out what the something was – happiness? Glee? Fear? Anxiety? A moment can come and pass so rapidly it’s hard to remember what happened. Looking at myself in the mirror, I could see an image of myself with the bar above my head and instantly, I felt defeated. Why?
One of the articles I read stated that some of us are afraid of succeeding. He neatly bundled the ‘reasons why’ into three fears that I will note here:
1. Fear of Not Coping with Success
2. Fear of Selling Out
3. Fear of Becoming Someone Else
I have to say, I think that all of these have a very possible effect on not being able to move forward. Like all the writings here or on any of the mental work in terms of weight loss, we all know principles can easily be applied to any other facet of our lives – career, relationships, interests, self-improvement. In that instant in the mirror, I realized I was in a moment of change and I was fearful of what could come next. I feared become someone I had never been…
Life was easier when I was almost 300 lbs. It was predictable. It was less work. It was a ‘no brainer’. I didn’t have to plan, or schedule, or be in my body. Hell, I didn’t have to invest in myself because I was too busy investing in everyone around me. But, at some point I realized I wanted out of my plus sized body and wanted to at least flirt with the idea of being ‘normal’. Right now, I fear of becoming someone else because I have never been anyone but me; in a body that I never truly loved and in the ‘funny fat girl’ persona that served me pretty well.
I am scared of succeeding because I have never been ‘normal’. I am scared of succeeding because what if I have a relapse and gain all the weight back? I am scared of succeeding because maybe deep down somewhere I fear I don’t deserve it.
I call bullshit.
I do deserve it. And that bar will get heavier. And that dress will get smaller. And that smile will get bigger. And that fear will start to shrink to a point that it is extinguished for good.
What is it that you fear? Whatever and wherever that fear may be hiding, is it preventing you from becoming the best CEO, the best Husband, the best Father, the best version of you?