An Example of Shame

It should be as simple as picking up where I left off. Or even just starting anew.

Years ago I engaged in a home fitness program. For three months it went really well, on every level. The exercise, the healthy eating. The fitness outside of the program. Just my overall commitment was, looking back, amazing.

Commitment was the key aspect to the program. Just as as much was accountability. I measured and recorded my progress, losing 30 lbs and vastly improving my eating habits.

Over time my commitment to the program waned, came back and fell away, and finally disappeared. Honestly, the fits and starts aren’t even the issue. This is a matter of fear. Shame; embarrassment. All within myself. I look back at those first three months and I see one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. And every attempt to get back to it has felt… intimidating.

Buy why? Where does this self-shaming come from? Am I really so unable to make a fresh new start?

The self-shame here is pretty deep, and it goes in a lot of different directions. There’s the shame of the initial drop-off: what could have been just a nice, short break from the program became a fight for a new daily routine that really never came to be.

There’s the shame of, on a few occasions, trying to formally re-engage the program’s online accountability system. The photos, the weigh-ins, the measurements… whatever. The real pain was – is – in never being able to recapture the excitement of first starting the program. Something about that summer, I had the drive to start and keep on going. Every attempt since has been like trying to start up a beat old car, knowing how beautiful and swift the engine used to run.

Then there’s the sheer regression. The loss of muscle, tone. Starting to eat like shit again; the weight that came back (along) with that. It is beyond embarrassing to know not just that I’d sworn off chips and cookies and pizza in exchange for vegetables and fruit and so much water, but just how effectively I did so.

Of course things happen. School; work; shit; life. And I know that it’s up to me to work with all of those things. Around them. Despite them. Despite myself. It’s just amazing how deep the shame goes. How painful it is.

And yet… inspiring.

© 2018 Day By Day Mental


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