In the face of Shame
Those that know me well will tell you I am confident and outgoing. I am. So it isn't a lie. But I think we tend to see each other as two dimensional. We don't see the complex creatures that we are. I blame sit-coms, with the standard formula of stupid silly or genius characters. Don't get me wrong, I have my favorite sit-coms, but society seems to think that these reflect reality. But that isn't my point.
These same people did not see me sitting alone in my home eating a full family-size bag of potato chips. Sometimes with dip. And in the middle of it asking, out loud, why I was doing this to myself. Then as I continued, calling myself a disgusting pig, also out loud. It didn't help. It only made me put more chips in my mouth as if that would shut me up.
They didn't see when I would stop and eat a value meal at the golden arches, yes the double quarter pounder, super-sized of course, on my way to a family member or friends house. Then instead of saying, "No thank you, I just ate," when offered a meal, I just sat down and ate until I felt ill. Also disgusted with myself.
They didn't see the way I would get home and come up with all kinds of "important things" that had to be done and then, well would you look at that, it is too late to work out. Any number of excuses to avoid a workout. And man did I hate cardio.
Most of all. Those closest to me never saw, and still don't know the devistation I felt, the utter failure as a human being that crushed the very spirit out of me when I stepped on the scale after deciding I had to do SOMETHING, and it did not go high enough to tell me what my weight was. The absolute dispair I felt, it was wrapped in hopelessness.
I remember that two things that I had heard from friends got me out of that bathroom. The first was:
" Fear and Shame knocked at my door. Action answered, and there was no one there."
"The only easy day was yesterday"
So I got out and took action. I am still taking action as you can see. I am 41 lbs down since starting MFP. I am 60 lbs down from that day on the scale that would not weigh me. More importantly I am stronger and in better health.
That shame I felt standing naked in my bathroom, on a scale that basically screamed, "get off me you fat bastard" was overwhelming. As I said, at that moment, my spirit was crushed. But that first saying, as corny as it might sound, really saved me from myself. From saying, "what's the use lets get really fat." As soon as I decided to take action, the fear and shame seemed diminished. I won't say they were gone. But action, or even the plan of action, acted as a shield and helped protect me a little. I might be a fat man, but I am a fat man doing something about it.
The second saying, which is from a Navy SEAL I know, gave me a solid footing. I had just, without verbalizing it, at that moment made a commitment to do was nessary to fix the problem. It wasn't going to be easy. Each day will get more difficult and challenging because I will no longer allow myself to be less than I am today. I will always require that I push and grow.
Now that I have a full length mirror in my bathroom, I still don't like what I see when I stand there naked, no filter or lies between me and the true body of mine. But I am not ashamed. I am proud of the difference I see. I am excited that I am making the change that I said I would.
Shame is like a suit of lead. It slows us down, makes everything harder to do. The terrible secret is, that to get out of that suit, we just need to take it off and lay it on the floor. The only person keeping the lead suit on you is YOU.
If there are others trying to make you feel shame, that won't change with weight loss or a healthy body. Cut them loose. Anyone that really cares about you wants you to win. I want you to win.