The You’re Supposed To’s and Being Shamed


If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you don’t appreciate being told why you MUST do something, such as going on a diet or fitness program, which can be so hard and painful. As an unapologetic non-conformist, I’ve never done well with “Mari needs to…!” With the exception of my late friend Barb, anyone that has ever given me unsolicited advice about my weight or any meaningful aspect of my life, has failed at epic levels. No one that has ever forced or shamed me into doing anything has ever remained my friend. Ever.

As someone who understands these feelings, I’m going to ask you to separate yourself from the “I’m expected to’s” and the “what YOU really need to do’s…” You see, with some of us strong-willed people, there’s combativeness with someone pushing us to do something we haven’t owned or aren’t able to own, and combat takes up energy–energy we need for ourselves.

I’m going to tell you what I did to set apart that battle, and how I decided the only reason for going on such a large difficult transformation.

I hope I can give you a deeper understanding that in this process I came to find myself, and to love and respect myself in the most caring way. I sincerely hope this encourages you, whether you need to lose weight, quit drinking, quit smoking, or quit some other destructive behavior–or any combination.

In truth, there as many reasons to get to a healthy weight as there are ways to get there. Maybe someone is putting pressure on you, or your mother tells you that you have such a pretty face, if only…Or maybe you’re being (or feeling) judged or shamed about your body.

I didn’t begin this journey because a friend told me I needed to lose weight, or because my mother reminded me a guzzillion times that I have “such pretty face”, or because I felt judged by other people. Or even that someone’s shaming got through to me–it didn’t, it was just mean, hurtful and not helpful. Nope. Not one of those reasons, nor all of them added up together, were reasons enough to get me off of my self-imposed situation.

Now, I’m not out to make our friends and family, that want us to get healthy, or quit a destructive habit, enemies. They aren’t. Anyone encouraging you to get well and thrive is not an enemy, they’re probably the best people in your life and they probably really love you. When my mother told me what a pretty face I had, she was looking into the beauty of her daughter, and she wanted to see me enjoy great health and potential beauty. Nothing wrong with that. My mother is extremely proud of my transformation.

I believe that sometimes when we’re not fighting the right fight, we begin to fight those around us–and, who better than those that are hitting nerves, and thereby bringing it on?! That’s why it’s important to own your fight, and know what your fighting, and why.

One day I realized I needed to do this for ME, and I needed to OWN it.

Simply for ME! And only for ME. And it needed to be done by me, under my command and my impetus.

How did I do it? I realized that I was disengaged. I was disconnected. I later realized how far disengaged and disconnected I’d become but that’s for another blog post. Fear and apathy are the enemies of engagement and connection. Fear and apathy are the reasons we fail to even try to meet our dreams. I chose to engage, and I chose to engage with whatever I had to do, or leave in order to master this journey. I connected in every possible way I could with making my goal come to fruition.

Instead of using my energy to fight others, I used my energy to move my mind and body out of the apathetic inertia I was firmly set in. Most people that knew me then would not have believed I was apathetic or in fear of anything because I have a big personality.

I was really really unhappy.

I did this transformation for me, and me alone. There are a hundred things I wanted from dropping the weight, and I got all of them, and even more.

I later came to realize that my disengagement, which became self-neglect, was numbing me to a real sense of who I was. It kept me in a disconnected state and prevented me from living a joyful life.

What I never expected, what I never saw coming, was how deeply glorious it is to have self-respect. It gave me a new confidence I’ve used successfully in life, and especially in business. When I started treating myself better, I demanded others treat me better.

I found it satisfying to know that I could set my mind to something so personal and hard, and push through it.

It feels empowering to have the strength to say no to myself, and to take control of my own behavior.

I wear size ten jeans that I call my big pants. And I wear size eight when I’m on plan. I don’t know where I stand with today’s vanity sizing but I still have more weight loss goals.

However, there isn’t a jean size for the best gift I got out for pursuing these goals: ME.

Me–engaged and connected, living in a state of joy. How cool is that?!

I find that even when I’m locking horns with someone, I’m still engaged, and connected. To me, that’s living.

I found out that I’m a strong brave girl. I found out I’m younger as I get older. I found out I’m a ball of energy and can run circles around thirty year olds–that has more to do with the physical conditioning I got from exercise. I found out so many things about myself that I never thought were in me.

So, if you’re dying a little each day. If you wake up unhappy with your condition. If you feel like you’re not respecting yourself. I challenge you to do what you know you need to do, to own it, for the only reason you should: YOU! Engage and connected you.

Beautiful amazing you. The strength and energy is in YOU. And you are so worth it.