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.
Over the past few months I have been working to manage the fears in my life to the point where it no longer has room to operate. This seems nice & easy when I write it down here, but it's truly been a process -- nowhere near an overnight sensation of accomplishment. The thing is, the less I allow fear to have place, the more I am feeling confident and sure of myself, and dealing with so many aspects of my life in a healthier, happier way. Fear is a lie that prevents us from reaching our potential. This, of course, isn't to be confused with fear as a raw human emotion (say, if I was hanging from a cliff). I'm speaking of the fears I let fester inside me. May you and I continue to kick fear's ass. (please say hello to the kitteh for me)Reply
Josie, darling -- first of all, thank you for your always-thoughtful comments. I agree that there are different kinds of fear: the kind that tries to keep you alive, and the kind that helps you forget how to live. Sometimes it's a wild beast that you can tame and put a saddle on. Either way, it doesn't displace love. And i think you're right when you say "I allow fear to have [its] place." If we push it away and separate ourselves from fear, we're not actually learning or growing. We're just hiding.Reply
Nice thoughts you put in here. Fear should not be on anybody's top list when losing weight. Love is. Love for yourself, love for your family, and love for life in general.Reply
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