I hope you all know that I have a certain amount of contempt for The Biggest Loser. I don't think their methods are safe, nor are they transparent. For instance, on the show they often talk about how many calories they are taking in but their expenditure is always talked about in vague terms: "reach[ed] their burn." It is their dirty little secret. They don't want to show just how high the burn target is. They must be running huge deficits.
But I digress...
So anyways, new season and new trainers equal new blog fodder. New trainer Jen said that people operate out of "Fear OR love." I disagree.
It isn't binary (one or the other). It is a spectrum that we are always on--fear AND love. The trouble we get ourselves into is when there is more fear, anxiety, or apprehension than love, confidence or courage. We just need 51% of the latter to conquer the former.
That, dear readers, is the mental and emotional aspect of weight loss--to manage and negotiate that spectrum, not to deny that it exists. It is especially evident for those who can't rely on exercise to muffle those voices or to remind us how strong we are.
The anticipatory steps that lead up to a life change are often very exciting. Something or someone has shown us a different path. But there is often fear lurking behind. If we change our behaviors and mental processes, do we change who we are? Do we have to give up the things we love and that make us uniquely our own self? Well... sometimes yes and that is okay. That is evolution: a response to our environment.
Fear tries to tell us that we are losing control. Love always says "Take a risk; I've got your back."
For the past few months, I have been running on fear and with good reason to do so. I had a few good years and thought my back problems were behind me. Falling in the shower in February and landing in the hospital in May shook me up more than I had anticipated.
The fear didn't prevent me from moving. I have been walking A LOT in the past few months, but it did prevent me from even going to the gym. The mental block was wanting to do exactly what I did last year: five miles or more on the elliptical and an hour of weights. I couldn't get around it.
Until this morning.
I ran 2 miles on the elliptical. They were slow, but my legs remembered what to do. Did 5 miles on the bike. Did some weights. Came home to my kitteh and ate a peach.
Was it the most grueling workout? No. But it was one of the most challenging. Today, fear was no match for the love I have for myself.