Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jillian Michaels, Shame and Getting Over It

Last week, I joined hundreds of fans and fitness enthusiasts and went to see Jillian Michaels on her Maximize Your Life tour. At times it seemed like her schpeel was a compilation of all that is trending right now, but one thing stood out and it helped me achieve my very own aha moment.

She talked about how the Biggest Loser contestants shake off images of their former selves with disdain, almost disgust about who they used to be. But the thing is, old body or new, it’s still them.  And, she added, he or she lost 100 pounds. How are you going to top that??

And then came my aha.

As someone who has lost 110 pounds, I hesitatingly look at or share pictures of my bigger body. Discomfort and awkwardness stem from shame…shame in the size of my body…shame that defined who I was.

And what’s worse, I had shame about how I lost my weight because I was worried about others' reactions and my own fear of failure. I just didn't get it.

How ridiculous.

In 2011, I had gastric bypass surgery and both my decision to pursue surgery and my use of this tool has saved my life.

Aha! I finally got it.

I have spent years thinking that if I only looked like X, all my dreams would come true.  But through this process, I got the smack upside the head I needed.

My life is amazing and my dreams have come true. And my BMI has nothing to do with it.

It has everything to do with me and the person I am, that I have always been.

It has everything to do with the choices I made and continue to make every day.

It has to do with my strength, my perseverance, and my commitment to life and all that is good.

It has to do with the dreams I hold for myself and my life, and the steps I take to bring it all to fruition. My good choices and accomplishments didn’t start with my weight loss. And they certainly won’t end with them.

Finally, pride has replaced my shame.

Pride in pushing through when it seemed easier to give up.

Pride in a body that never gave up on me, especially given the abuse I had inflicted on it over the years.

Pride in allowing myself to trust that such an amazing man could love me so completely, even when I couldn’t love myself.

Pride in allowing myself to stop self loathing and move into a space of self awareness.

Pride in how far I had come and excitement in how far I could go.

I am proud of the person I am today, and I am a work in progress. Losing my weight was part of the process, a chance for me to discover my strength and a catalyst for the great things that are still to come. But the choices are still up to me.

Instead of hiding photos and memories of my bigger self in the bottom of dusty boxes or photo albums, I wish I could hug her, tell her how proud I am of her and give her the biggest high-five I could muster, because the reality of it is, I couldn’t do it without her.


  1. Such an inspiration and I'm glad you had your aha moments! A little self love is good for the soul!

    Stopping by from the Weekend Wander bloghop!

    1. Casey, thank you so much for stopping by and for your wonderful comment. I completely agree...we spend so much time in conflict with our's time we practice a little body appreciation for all that we do right. Thanks again for stopping by. Please visit again soon.

  2. I am so glad I stopped by and read this! I used to be so skinny and once I had kids my body just changed. i am very overweight. I look at pictures of myself now and I am not hsppy. I look at pictures of how I used to be though and I am realistic, I know I am not going to look exactly like I used to. Regardless, the point is, its all about how you see yourself skinny or fat you should never feel shame. you should only feel the need to find your happiness.
    It doesn't matter how you lost it ans long as you did! 110 lbs is a great battle to win!

    1. Delia, thank you so much for your visit and for your kind words. I think we get caught up in the shell that our body is. Fat or thin, I am me and so is everyone else. We don't love our friends for their body; why do we put that pressure on ourselves? Thank you, again, for stopping by...please come back again soon.

  3. There ain`t no shame in giving it all you`ve got! Live for today!

    1. Thank you for your feedback...I agree completely! :-)

  4. I found this post through your A to Z Me post and I HAD NO IDEA. I just assumed you were one of those people who had always been fit her whole life, because you are so athletic and positive. As a person that has really struggled with putting exercise and diet into my life I APPLAUD YOU.

    I applaud you for taking such a risk to change your life and for being a complete inspiration to me. In my family it is seen as a negative thing to watch what you eat and workout. I am seen as being "obsessed" because I rarely eat cake and junk food. It is as though I should be ashamed of wanting a more healthy version of myself. But you know what ... you are right it is ALWAYS ME. We are our past and we make our future and we cannot let society define us. Be proud of that surgery because it was a bold choice to take control of a situation you needed to change. What a strong woman you are.