I belong to a wonderful online group of people who’re on the same fitness journey as I am and I saw where a few people posted, “the scale is my enemy” which, truth be told, isn’t novel statement. I’ve heard this phrase since my childhood and those people have probably heard it since their childhoods too.
In fact, I know people who refuse to keep a bathroom scale in their homes because it’s the “enemy.”
But let’s examine this a little deeper: to say “the scale is the enemy” is similar to saying “the chair is enemy,” or “the pencil is my enemy.” Or funnier still, “the beach ball is my enemy.”
Right? These are inanimate objects. The scale’s purpose is to weigh mass. That’s it. It doesn’t intentionally increase our weight to ridicule us or decrease our weight to make us feel better. It just does what it’s supposed to do: weigh mass. The scale can’t be our enemy.
So, if it can’t be our enemy, then what is?
It’s our perception of the scale, our attachment to the number that it displays and the meaning that we impart to that number: the enemy is the shame we feel which has been accepted by our ego as being valid and true. And don’t worry, I’m not going to rehash my treatise on the ego. This is about shame.
Shame can be incredibly difficult to beat because it knows all of our weaknesses and our defenses. BUT! There is one defense it is powerless against and that defense is our “power of letting go.” Shame is something we accept and because we have accepted it, we can also reject it. We can let it go.
I know this is more easily said than done: especially after being told some variation of, “you’re fat,” time and time again. We’re shamed for our weight, or worse, we shame ourselves and then we go to the scale and see that shame reflected back at us as a number. No, we attach shame to the number we see on the scale because we’ve been told that the number we see is shameful.
Shame: what a useless trash heap of an emotion!
AND then we throw shame at others who have managed somehow to become body positive in spite of their being overweight because of the shame we feel about our own being overweight.
Admit it, you’ve seen an “overweight” woman or man before loving life, loving their bodies and the shame within you rises up and says, “but you’re fat.” Maybe you even said it aloud. Hopefully you didn’t. Jealousy and shame are two sides of the same coin.
I admit it and this happened when I, myself, was morbidly obese.
Shame, like misery, enjoys company.
Let’s not confuse shame with guilt. Guilt is useful. It shows us when we’ve done something wrong but shame, it tells us that we’re wrong, period. Shame tells us that we are fundamentally not good enough, and undeserving of self love and the love of others. Shame tells us that we’re unfit, spoiled, – a lost cause.
And the saddest part of all is that we’re taught to feel shame by others who feel it – parents, friends, lovers…No one is born with it. Shame is thrown upon us like so much garbage.
And we carry the burden of shame because we’re told by the world that we must. We accept it, but shame has only the power that we give it. It robs us of our joy by telling us we’re unworthy of it. So, my friends, let go of your shame and reclaim the power of your joy by loving yourself NOW, even as you are. No one deserves your love and respect more than YOU DO!
What have you to feel shame over? Absolutely nothing! Shame because you enjoy food? No!We’re here to live a physical existence which requires food! Eat!
Should you feel guilty about enjoying food? No!
Should you feel guilt about overeating? Maybe, but only if overeating is counterproductive to your goal of health and fitness.
Guilt only appears when we’ve done something incompatible with our own personal goals and/or standards of living.
So, the next time you think about going to the gym because you feel shame about your body. Stay home. Go to your biggest mirror and tell your body how much you love it. Thank it for being the vessel of your soul/consciousness. Touch the places that make you feel shame and give them the love they deserve.
“I love you, Belly!”
“I love you, Thighs!”
“I love you, Tush!”
You can’t shame yourself into a body that you’ll one day love. Love your body now so that you can love it into becoming healthy and fit! Face the shame and tell it, “F*** you! I am worthy of health and fitness!” Then walk your cute chunky butt into the gym and claim what is rightfully yours.
Use your guilt to course correct but shame – ditch that trash. Let it go.
Om, Baby! Om!