Friday, August 13, 2010

Brave enough to be afraid.

A few weeks ago I put Finding Nemo on for my son to watch. He’s seen the movie at least a dozen times before but for some reason this time it really frightened him. After fifteen minutes I had to turn it off because he was hiding his eyes and almost crying. I chalked it up to his development and gaining a better understanding of what was going on in the story.

Since then though he has not stopped asking me questions about it. “Sharks bite Nemo Daddy, Mommy? Nemo fall down. Nemo hurt? Nemo scared? Nemo’s okay, Nemo hides. Where did Nemo go? Nemo got took? Nemo’s Daddy go go go! Nemo! Where are you? Nemo NO!” Seriously, he goes on and on like this over and over from the time he wakes up in the morning until something distracts him. For weeks this has been going on.

It occurred to me this morning as I was picking him up from his crib and answering his “Nemo” questions for the 100th time that when something frightens us it can be difficult to let it go. I realized that the reason he keeps asking the same questions over and over about his movie is because he is trying to make sense of it all. Often it is those things that we do not understand that frightens us the most.

So many of us on this journey of losing weight and getting fit have admitted to being afraid. I have a fear of failure and a fear of success. I am afraid that if I don’t accomplish my goals I will get sick and crippled and maybe even die. I am afraid that if I succeed and lose all this weight that I will be the object of comments and attention that make me uncomfortable. I like to hide behind my fat sometimes, losing it will be a scary adjustment to make.

Just like my son, I have a hard time letting it go. I am afraid when I eat off plan that I have forever botched my efforts, often I jump on the scale before I go to bed. I wake up and am afraid I might not have the willpower today to do what I need to do, again I check the scale. I keep asking myself the same questions over and over.

“Why did I let myself get this way?”

“What can I do to make this easier on myself?”

“How much can I lose this week?”

“What will happen if I don’t lose it all?”

“What weight will really make me happy?”

“What can I eat today, what about tomorrow?”

“Will my husband still love me if I can’t do it? Will he still love me if I can?”

“What if the damage has already been done?”

I guess I’m just trying to make sense of it all and hoping that if I can find the answers, maybe I won’t be scared any longer and can finally confront my demons.

Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared.
- Eddie Rickenbacker


  1. Sometime when I get afraid, I have to focus on the end result...I know the end result, I know how this story is going to end.

    When my husband and I watch a movie together, 9 times out of 10 I have to have him leave the room and I fast forward through the whole movie!! I can't handle the suspense! Actually I don't even have to ask him anymore. He'll turn to me (1/4 to 1/2 of the way in) and ask, "You need me to leave now?" And, 9x's out of 10 I say, "Yes!"

    Those are good questions, honest questions. I think we all ask those at one point or another.

    Have a great Friday Night!

  2. Someone once told me Oprah did a program based around getting rid of the fear to lose weight successfully.

    Have you read a book called Feel The Fear and Do It. Or something similar. My daughter gave it to me and it has helped many people.

    Fear is a healthy part of life but when it becomes toxic it's crippling.

    All the best

  3. Excellent post and spot on: fear of failure is a huge issue for me (in all aspects of my life, not just this one), and I think maybe a small part of it is a fear of success, too.