04 February, 2009
Inside These Walls
Biggest Loser is one of my not so guilty pleasures. When it first came out, I couldn't imagine why fat people would allow themselves to be humiliated on television for a few measly bucks. And then I started watching. Seriously. It has nothing to do with the money. These people are transforming their lives! Indeed, as I was telling Susan last night, I wish I could watch this show every night because it inspires me so.
But that's not what I want to write about. The beautiful woman pictured above is named Joelle. She had a lot of trouble on the show. She wasn't always sure she wanted to be there. She didn't really connect with any of the other participants; she rarely--if ever--gave it her all. At first it was a little irritating. After all, she had a wonderful opportunity and she was blowing it!
But then I started to watch her face and her body as other people were chastising her. I saw her when her weight loss was low. I saw her when she swore she was pushing herself, even though it was clear she was not. And I realized that she was afraid. I realized that there was some kind of big fear behind that wall of hers, and she was not about to let it out. She was not about to become vulnerable with those people.
I realized that in many ways I am Joelle.
In an earlier post I wrote about making some changes and stopping self destructive behavior. I have stopped over medicating myself with alcohol, I have been seeing a therapist, I have been exercising more, I've been working on my diet.
And life is better. I am down a clothing size, my weight loss is starting to show, my stomach and colon are in much better condition, and I'm doing better at work and in my relationship.
So what do I do? I have had several days this week when I just couldn't stop eating. I caught myself planning to drink the other night. I found myself wanting to hide away--skip work and stay at home (with food and alcohol, perhaps?). I forgot an important appointment with Susan. I mixed up the days for my therapist and missed that appointment. I am, in short, sabotaging myself.
Why? Am I afraid to be successful? attractive? happy? Yes, I think I am. I am also afraid that I will try my hardest and fail anyway.
I'm going to medicate myself with some Joy Harjo:
I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won't take you in my hands.
You can't live in my eye, my ears, my voice,
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart
But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid