I am pretty sure that one of the reasons I have been holding on to my weight is related to my fear of failure. Where this fear came from I don’t know 100% for sure yet but I think I am working that out. What I DO know is that I have always been driven to succeed at whatever I though important to strive for and I have done that. I am also not a huge risk taker. I will only do something if I am 99% sure of the outcome. Like college…sure it’s scary for many reasons…but I knew I would graduate and get a kick ass job as a teacher and life would be good. So I went to college. But my weight has been weight a whole different “failure” issue. I remember getting REALLY sick my junior and senior years of high school. I went to the hospital…saw specialist after specialist until we found Dr. Ralph Golan in Seattle. He diagnosed me with food allergies and as soon as I –my mom– changed my diet I was good to GO! I lost weight…I had more energy…and I felt great. But then I went to college…so yeah. Sticking to a diet that did not contain sugar, soy, citrus, dairy, or wheat was pretty hard back in the day. But that was really the last time I thought about being healthy. It like disappeared from my radar…I was only focused on getting my degree and finding my peer group…my PEEPS. What ever that took…I was going to make those two things happen. Happy to report…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
A few years ago I was getting sick again but like REALLY sick…back and forth to the hospital. So much so that the last time I was there they told me I had to go see a shrink because they thought I was making it up. Yeah…not making it up. Vomiting uncontrollably, pain that morphine would not touch…bad things coming out of every open pore of my body. Again…specialist after specialist until FINALLY a doctor ran tests for everything I possibly could NOT have and guess what…came back Celiac. The weight was supposed to just melt off with a gluten free life. Well…two years later I am 20 pounds heavier than when I was when diagnosed. I feel good…no hospital! But gluten was not my issue. So back on the hunt for the reason I could not drop the pounds. There HAS to be something wrong…there just has to be. I am active…I eat good…I don’t sit around round all day…but what if I DO the super hard work of just committing to a drastic program or shift and my health issue are STILL there? What if I lose a bunch of weight and I still have shit wrong? What if I try to lose a bunch of weight and I don’t? It will be my FIRST failure…people will know I failed… A couple of things helped me get over this fear…and are helping me get over this fear because let me tell you…it is STILL there.
- My Polyclinic doctor. At a recent appointment I told her that I might be kinda of fearful to put in the work to lose the weight for the reasons above. She just looked at me and said “Well do you have cells? Do you have eyes? Do you have a heart?” Ummm..yes and why are treating me like a child? Her response: “Health issues are human issues. You will always have health issues because you have parts and cells and joints and organs and like EVERYTHING in life they break and decay. Health issues are HUMAN…everybody has them and weight is just one cause of these issues. Unless you stop being human you will always be tackling or dealing with something related to your health.” Oh….good point doc. OK so I guess I can stop using that fear now and a shield of armor against myself.
- My own FREAKING advice. I tell my students ALL the time…the word “fail” is not short for failure. It is an acronym and it stands for First Attempt In Learning. You are trying to learn or understand something you have never understood before. Do you expect that you will be an expert at driver the first time you get behind the wheel? NO. You expect to make some mistakes and run the side of your car into the garage a few times (Sorry Dad that was Maria…aahahahah!) When we are learning something new and we KNOW it’s going to take some time to really figure it out…to master it. It took me YEARS to understand that to be a good teacher I have to have meaningful relationship-professional- with my students for them to feel comfortable enough with me to learn from and with me. And holy SHIT when I think of the mistakes I made in my classroom…But it is hard to understand and accept this definition when our fear is so great and so powerful. Just by shifting your thinking about failure and the power of your fear is diminished.
- The article below. “When these people fail, they detach themselves from the result, and don’t use it to beat themselves up. They take time to reflect and analyze what has happened, and use the information learned from this reflection to help them grow and better develop themselves before the next opportunity.” How I perceive failure is entirely my choice. I can choose to see it as something negative or I can choose to see it as something positive and as a sight of growth. I thought I was a teaching failure a few times until people told me to just relax and focus on all the positive things that were happening in my classes. That was NOT failure and my kids needed to see my struggle and learn so they would know how to do it to…you know…MODELING! That great technique I use every day as a teacher…again…my OWN advice.
Like I said…the fear is still there. But it is not so debilitating that I cannot move forward and start learning about my issues. I have also come to the realization that the only REAL health issue is in my head…its my brain and its wiring. But good news…there is a CURE for that! Its called getting real with yourself and committing to something REAL. I can finally take the steps I need to gain the knowledge of my situation and begin to shift my thinking. Just recognize what failure is people…new learning! So there you go…
“When these people fail, they detach themselves from the result, and don’t use it to beat themselves up. They take time to reflect and analyze what has happened, and use the information learned from this reflection to help them grow and better develop themselves before the next opportunity.”