Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When Shame Holds You Back

"Ain't no shame in my game."

This line floated through my head as I was out walking this morning. I picked it up after reading Carlos Whittaker's blog, and it came to mind because I was thinking about how hard it was for me to venture outside to get some exercise. I hate working out in front of people. It's horribly embarrassing. And I hate the thought of people being able to see me if I'm huffing and puffing from trying to jog a little bit instead of walking the whole way.

And then I remembered this one woman from The Biggest Loser. I think it was one where there were people from each state, but only some of the people actually got to stay. At the finale, they'd bring back the person who had lost the most weight at home on their own and compare it to the person who lost the most weight while on the show. Her transformation was incredible. I never would have believed she was overweight, she was SO tiny afterward. The thing that struck me is how hard it must have been for her to get started. She didn't have a personal trainer and a group of people around her who were working towards the same goal. She had to work out in her own neighborhood where people knew her. It's so hard to make a change like that. Sometimes people who are overweight are so ashamed of their weight that they're embarrassed to take the first hard steps towards getting in shape. That's been my struggle off and on for a long time.

Then I thought about it. No, it's not ideal that I'm out of shape now. But why should I be ashamed of taking a first step towards changing that? It takes a lot of courage to get out there and do something different than what you've done before. It is really hard to ask for help sometimes. I've been watching Hoarders, and it's got to be insanely embarrassing for these people to let the public see how bad their homes have gotten. But they are working to make a change. That is so admirable, and I think even more so because of how hard it can be to take a first step when you feel like you're at the bottom of a pit.

I realized today that there are a lot of people who don't change their lives because they're ashamed. All they can see is the mistakes they've made that lead up to the present. I think it would be amazing if people could learn to look more at the right now. Instead of focusing on the years I screwed up, what if I decided that I'm going to feel amazing today because I walked 1.9 miles and jogged 3 short portions of that? I am proud that I'm working, however slowly, to make a change in my life.

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