Fear is the little Death

So, the other day I was thinking about my previous blog posts and decided that I haven’t really dedicated a lot of time or words to my personal journey. I also realized that even though I have goals (written out, natch), I don’t really know how I want my body to look or what specifically I’d like to accomplish. I also think about all the times I’ve tried to lose weight in the past and failed, why I seem to have this mental roadblock keeping me from success.

I used to think I wanted to get down to 130-140, because that’s what I weighed in high school, and I thought I was pretty hot shit then. But recently, I realized I’ve never been thin or particularly fit, even then. I looked okay, but I had no muscle. I never played sports as a kid, except in gym class. I had the requisite ballet and gymnastics when I was really little. But looking back, I came upon a stunning revelation: I never practiced outside of class. I suspect this has a lot to do with having a overly critical mother. I learned early on that I didn’t like having an audience when I was doing stuff, and I certainly didn’t like doing things that drew attention to me.

Later on, this translated as enjoying running at night-so no one could see me, and avoiding the gym because I felt like a poseur. Seeing this and understanding it has made me wonder if this fear of criticsm has led me in some way to avoid situations where I felt like I might be on display in some sense. But hey, I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t say how accurate my little self-diagnoses is.

So yeah, maybe this fear has led to other more intangible fears-like a fear of being successful or good at something that requires action outside my own head. It’s possible. The other day when I was at the gym slogging through a workout, I realized that I was scared. Not just of failing (again), but not reaching my fitness goals, making my business successful, and a whole slew of other things. I like to think we are all scared about something at some time, but I wonder how much this fear keeps us from achieving what we want in life.

I don’t really know what I want to look like or how much I want to weigh, despite knowing my healthy weight. When I was in my 20s, I gained 10 lbs one summer, but my body fat percentage didn’t change. I was in better shape than when I started, but I was also 10 lbs heavier. The same thing when I gained the next year, too. But I was in better shape when all was said and done. Once upon a time, I had a trainer who asked what my goal weight was. When I told him somewhere between 120-130, he actually looked horrified, telling me that weight was way too low for my frame. He told me I should shoot about 20 lbs higher, in the 140-150 range. According to my ideal body fat percentage of 20%, that actually is the correct weight.

It’s not enough to just say, “I don’t want to be fat anymore,” but I’m scared because I don’t know how I’m going to look at the end of this journey. I don’t want to become obsessed with my body, but I’d like to look in the mirror and not just see a bunch of stuff I want to change. I may not know how I’m going to look, but I know what I want to see: long lean muscles, strength. I want to be fit and strong.

“Fear is the mind killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration.”* What do you fear? What’s keeping you from accomplishing your goals?

Until next time, then.


*that’s from “Dune” by Frank Herbert.


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