I feel like I’m on the high dive, ready to jump in, and everyone is watching. I want to jump. I absolutely want to jump and feel the cool of the pool, but I’m afraid.
“Jump!” Someone yells.
“You can do it!” another encourages.
“Come on! Move your butt.” There always has to be one Debbie Downer.
I stand there between wanting to leap from that board and being scared shitless.
What if I hurt myself? What if I do it wrong? What if I look stupid?
What if, what if, what if…
“What’s the worst that can happen?” Those words fill my head and push me forward.
I jump and after coming up from the water, I see everyone clapping, congratulating me on my bravery for facing my fears.
My what if has turned into what now? Because next time, everyone will expect me to follow thorough, do it again without question. Without worry and only with success in mind.
What did I do to deserve a chance like this? Or really what I mean is what the hell have I gotten myself into?
A couple of weeks ago, I made a video. No, not the kind of celebrities say they are embarrassed by and then make a bunch of money on. I made a video to enter a contest called Move It or Lose It Challenge by Mamavation. I had to submit a video as to why I would be a great choice to be a Mamavation mom. I dreaded it because I had to face some numbers I hadn’t faced in a long time. Yet, I really wanted in the challenge. I felt it would be a great catalyst to get me going towards my health and wellness goals. I’d already started making changes in my life, so I wouldn’t quit striving towards my goal, but a challenge, well, that seemed too good to pass up.
Think The Biggest Loser without being sequestered from everyone in the world.
Okay, so here I am, wanting to jump into the pool as it were, and I’m afraid to face my numbers. Those numbers (weight-217lbs, BMI–38.4, body fat percentage 44%, bust–38″, waist–38″, hips–48″, arms 13.5″ ) are all dreadful. I already know they are horrible and far over the limits of normal, but I’m trying to change them. Right?
On the last day I could submit, I set up the tripod and attached my video camera. With all my numbers typed out, I practed what I would say to the world, total stranger, about why I should be in this Move It or Lose It Challenge.
I took a deep breath and simply laid it all out there. My weight, my body mass index, my body fat percentage as well as my goals and my timeline were all for the world to see. I jumped in and it felt great!
The weight of grief and guilt of my crappy health and dismal numbers fell off my shoulders (although it didn’t make a damn bit of difference on the scale).
After submitting came the phone interview where I got to lay out my soul to a total stranger, telling her why she should pick me over so many others who desperately want to participate.
Then I had to wait. I told no one I knew I’d entered this challenge. I didn’t even tell my sweet husband, mainly I couldn’t get over my fear of him seeing my actual weight. I had no fear that he said “Damn, you weigh as much as a player in the NFL. I’m outta here.” I just knew he’d worry about me and my health.
Telling anyone else didn’t seem like much of an option either. I feared I’d either hear something “it’s about damn time you got off your lazy ass” or “why in the world would you want to do that? Seems like so much work. Can’t you just be happy being fat?”
When the Monday arrived for the results to be posted, I found I’d finaled. Yeah me!
Then the part of the challenge I didn’t think through. I had to get people to vote for me to be in the top two.
Now, not only is everyone going to know I’d entered this contest, but everyone and I mean everyone is going to know how much I weigh (217 lbs).
If I want to participate in this challenge, I have to get the votes. I can’t get the votes unless I tell people, people I don’t want knowing the actual size of my ass.
So I could do two things. I could quit, run and hide like I’d done so many times before or I could jump into the deep end of the pool and face the fall out.
Deciding to face anything anyone threw at me, I sent out requests for votes to everyone I knew. I posted to Facebook, I talked to others in the contest, and I participated in a Twitter Party for Mamavation.
The last day of the contest, I discovered something ironic. I was already in the challenge.
The votes were to see who placed in the highest two positions and those two would get a bunch of prizes, but also be required to post more often and multiple other things. Those who were not in the top two, would compete against the others who finaled. Whomever lost the most percentage of weight in the seven week challenge won.
I’m already in the contest? Well, it’s that just funny?
I could have not told anyone and simply just been in the competition.
Thing is, after sending out all those requests, all I’ve gotten is great feedback, encouraging words, and a whole lot of “I should do something too.” Even my husband said, “Good for you” and said my video was great.
Now the hard part, follow through.
If I don’t change, after all this, after I’ve asked all these people for emotional support, they’ll know. Talk about pressure! Makes me want to consume vats full of chocolate to comfort my rising anxiety. Oh wait, that’s one of the reasons I had to make the video in the first place!
It doesn’t mean I’m no longer afraid to show my numbers. It’s not anything I’ll bring up in casual conversation, but I will talk about it and not be scared as much any more.
As I end with posting my before photos, I think to the day, in seven weeks, when I get to post my afters.
Now, that doesn’t seem so scary.