Shame is “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety” according to good ole Merriam Webster.
Feeling like you are the mistake rather than someone who has made a mistake is no way to get or stay motivated for any length of time. In fact it typically ends up in a spiral of inflicting all or nothing behaviors as well as mental anguish in not feeling like you can reach extreme standards. If you feel inherently unworthy, inept, or flawed, you won’t be motivated to do much other than beat yourself up for not being better. We can do better.
So what is the opposite of shame? Hmm… instead of going from one extreme to the next, how about we find ourselves some balance.
We want you to focus on being amazing and that includes feeling healthy. You can get healthy by focusing on three things:
1) Enjoyable Movement
2) Intuitive Eating
3) Body Love
We know that what we focus on E X P A N D S. It’s incredible what happens when we focus on the positive changes we are making rather than the mistakes that limited us in our past. Stepping into change requires a shift. Are you ready for a new gear?
Real change begins within. What will shift within you when you start repeating these reminders for yourself?
• Positive • Patient • Progress
How will you start to feel? How will it effect your motivation?
Be kind to yourself and to others. Treat yourself and your body well.
At Long Beach Boot Camp we are here to help you in your process.
WHY SHAMING PEOPLE TO LOSE WEIGHT DOESN’T WORK
I am always curious how people come to the idea that shame motivates positive change. As a culture, we seem to believe that validation, compassion and acceptance makes for lazy, out of control people, with no moral compass or willpower. Perhaps its our “Horatio Alger” myth, our “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” notion of personal success.
We seem to believe this idea despite tremendous evidence to the contrary. Shame does not motivate anything except fear, and not infrequently, rebellion. Shame creates the antithesis of self care or self empowerment; it creates self-loathing and self-destruction. Yet we persist.
Take the example of the “War on Obesity.” Somehow we seem to believe that what “fat” people need is a good swift kick in the pants to motivate them to drop those unwanted pounds (never mind that weight is largely genetically determined, and the longest lived people in study after study are classified as “obese”). It is simply stunning to me that with decades of shaming women (and girls, and increasingly men) and billions spent on diets (which boast a 95% failure rate), we still somehow think a frontal attack will solve the alleged ”problem.”
And yet the rates of body dissatisfaction, eating disorders and weight-related bullying are higher than they have ever been. Seems only the dieting industry benefits. Hmmm.
Perhaps our goal needs to be advocacy of health; not a “war” on anything, but instead an invitation to people of all sizes to take the very best care of their bodies possible.
What if we were to value all shapes and sizes, as they are right now, and invite healthful eating (not dieting, but actually re-learning listening to and trusting body cues).
What if, instead of billboards and advertising that invite stigma and shame, we teach our physical education instructors to make movement something every child can do?
What if we demand healthful foods available to everyone? How about we decide, as a culture, to make it “shameful” to shame anyone? How about we intervene to stop the bully, not suggest the bullied child lose weight?
If health is actually our societal goal here (and I’m not convinced it is), shame is the very worst tool we might employ to do the job. I think we would do well to focus our attention not on people in any size category, but on those doing the shaming, both individuals and corporations. How do they benefit? What is their motivation to engage in this attack? Perhaps it has happened to them. Perhaps they fear they might be next.