Once upon a time there was a mom of 12 who lost 100 pounds. She did it over a period of 18 months with exercise, eating smaller portions and focus. The weight stayed off for years, as she was vigilant with exercise and eating. Then one day, the mom tripped over a humidifier in her closet. Her foot stayed swollen and bruised for weeks and she figured she had jammed her toes. Ain’t nobody got time for that. After four months, the mom finally went to the doctor. X-rays showed that nothing was broken so an orthopedic boot was prescribed. The boot helped the pain for a couple of weeks but then it returned, except worse. Fast forward through four months of non-weight bearing on a scooter, then surgery to fuse bones in the top of the foot, followed by a broken heel, the fusion of two discs in her spine due to the scooter accelerating disc deterioration, and another surgery on her ankle to repair scar tissue and a tendon. During this whole journey, she and her husband lost all four of their parents. Pain upon pain, grief upon grief. During all the months of non-weight bearing, long painful recoveries from three surgeries and no exercise–the mom gained weight and several sizes. Feeling like a disappointment to a lot of people, she began to feel shame. Never mind the awful two-year journey of brokenness. The shame crept in and built a box around her so she began to shrink to fit.
Shame: Less Than, Not EnoughOf course the mom is me. And it took me a long time to figure out why I had gradually fallen into feeling less than, not enough, with nothing to share, and better off hiding from blogging and Social Media. My weight and size became the full measure of my worth on those platforms. To deepen the shame, I run a huge, successful business in a health and wellness company. The supplements helped tremendously with my health throughout the journey and it’s not their fault I gained weight. But still…I felt it hurt my credibility so….more hiding. Now here we are. I’m just now recovering enough physically and emotionally to work on losing weight. But I had to be vulnerable and tell the story NOW, to break the power of the lies and to encourage those of you feeling shame and embarrassment and less than and the need to hide for whatever reason.
Sneaky BeliefsBeliefs can sneak up on you. Even if you thought you dealt with that stuff long ago, thoughts can come creeping back in a little at a time, until they’re deeply embedded as a belief and they feel real and familiar. Thoughts lead to emotions, and emotions lead to actions, so those secret beliefs do show up in what we do and don’t do. They squeeze us into a box so we stay small and they torment us with their lies.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Theodore RooseveltThis is one of my favorite quotes. We almost always come up short when we constantly compare ourselves with others. We make assumptions about the expectations of others, too. We’re so busy shrinking and hiding and assuming, we don’t realize that the people who matter love us and see all the good things we have to offer the world with no weight restrictions. The internet and Social Media are amazing tools to connect with the world and influence for good. But the dark side is that those same tools create insecurity and shame as we compare our rough draft with everyone else’s carefully edited presentation.