This morning I was thinking about the role that shame has played in my life. Yesterday, I went to a Latin dance class with my boyfriend. I love to dance but it takes a lot of courage for me to go because there are mirrors all around and everyone looks like some version of Barbie and Ken and then ... there is me.
I started to become overweight from around 8 years old and the more overweight I became the more difficult it was for me to engage in physical activity. Firstly, I was teased about my size and therefore became very self-conscious. Secondly, I was not as nimble or quick as my peers because of the extra weight. This often meant that I was not as good at whatever task had to be accomplished and consequently no one wanted me on their team. I came to hate and avoid wherever possible physical activity because it put me in the position to be feel inadequate and be ridiculed and rejected.
It was only as an adult when I was introduced to a program called Greysheet Anonymous by a friend, that my life turned around completely. I learnt for the first time what healthy eating is, and I learnt to make healthy food choices. Once I began to lose weight I had lots of energy and began to feel so comfortable in my body, that I began to wake up early and go running in the morning.
Boy did I love running. I loved that it was free … that I did not have to pay anybody to do it and I didn’t need any special training. More importantly, because I could do it alone, I didn’t feel self-conscious. There was no one to ridicule or laugh at me and no one to compare myself to. I could go as slowly or fast as I wanted to. I could stop if I felt tired. The only person I had to be accountable to was myself and so I allowed myself to start slowly and build up in my own time to a speed and distance that I felt comfortable with and could sustain. I looooooooooooved running. I ran 3-5 miles 5 days a week for years. It made me feel free and powerful, gave me a great sense of accomplishment and helped to build up my sense of self-respect. Unfortunately, because I never stretched properly before or after I ran, I ended up doing damage to my knees and my doctor advised me to stop running and find a low impact activity to replace it.
Even though there are other things I began to do once I was thin and not longer felt self-conscious about my body, like swimming, biking, dancing and diving, running was my anchor and things kinda went downhill for me weight wise after I stopped. I did try to replace it with the activities mentioned above, but that didn’t quite work out and as I said stopping had a kind of knock on effect and before I knew it I was back to my sedentary life style and my self destructive pattern of unhealthy eating which lead to a body weight of 90kgs.
Now, here I am trying once again to lead a healthy lifestyle so that I can increase my chances of living a long life. I have enrolled in a gym and am now going 5 days a week. I don't like gyms for reasons I may go into another time, but at least it's a quiet women-only gym and when I go, there are no more than 5 other women dotted around, so I don’t feel too uncomfortable and can just get on the elliptical trainer do my thing and leave.
In the dance studio it is another matter completely, I am the biggest person in the room (woman or man) and I'm always the one the instructor has to take more time with, going over and over the same thing. It's not that I don't get it, it's that my mind is so busy feeling conscious and ashamed of my big body, wondering what everyone is thinking about me, anxious that I look like an idiot, worried that I'm going to step on my partner's toes (you have to change partner's constantly so I can't dance with my honey the whole time) that I can't enter into the moment, I can't internalise the steps, I can't relax or focus.
Most of the time I'm not even there, because the feelings are so unbearable that I do an "out of body". That's how I coped my entire life. I abandon my body and its horrible feelings and problems and I go off into the stratosphere somewhere or I eat to numb the discomfort and pain. I feel like 8 again. (sigh)
This is probably why I felt ill last night. I actually thought of giving up the class until I am thin again, but I don’t want to. I can't tell you how much of my life I've put on hold already because of shame. I have to stop doing that whether I'm fat or thin. I think I am going to take my partner’s suggestion and do a private session or two with the instructor (whom I like immensely), practice at home a lot and then do a ton of affirmations before the class. I want to do it. I deserve to do this class. I want to be a superb dancer. I know I can be a superb dancer.
B - 377
1 cup of yogurt - 260
1 nectarine - 74
1 tbls of agave - 43
1 oz cheese - 117 and 1 veggie burger - 130 + 247
2 cups of salad - 40
1 tbls . dressing - 90
85gms vegetarian chicken - 90
3 cups of vegs. - 81
1 tsp fat - 40
S - 293
1 cup of yogurt - 260
1 tbls of agave - 43
Calories - 1258
Exercise - 0
3 cups of water :(