Monday, September 7, 2015

Shame vs Guilt in Weightloss and Parenting

feel horrible about yourself

What a WEIRD TOPIC you might say.  

And how is it related to health and fitness.  Well, I've been reading a lot of Brene Brown's books (which are fabulous by the way), and it's drawn my attention to this idea of SHAME vs. GUILT.

I guess the easiest way to explain it is, you FEEL SHAME when you do something wrong and you feel like you DESERVE IT because IT'S WHO YOU ARE.  

You FEEL GUILT, on the other hand, when you do something wrong that may go against your moral code, but you DO NOT attribute it to who you are as a person.

EXAMPLE SITUATION:  Let's say you want to lose 20 lbs but work has been really stressful and so you've been eating candy, cake, chips, and fast food because it's easy,  available, and in that moment, it serves as comfort because it all just feels overwhelming.  You also feel like you have no time to workout.  So the days pass, workouts get skipped, and you can't stay on track with your nutrition because it's just too hard.

SHAME vs. GUILT - HOW IT SHOWS UP:

If you feel SHAME, you might say things to yourself like, "I suck.  I obviously have no self control.  I feel like crap.  I'm just not good enough or strong enough because I always fail.  It's too hard.  I know I'll start again tomorrow but deep down I know it's futile.  I'll probably just cheat again.  It's like an uphill battle.  I should just accept that I'm going to be fat forever."

If you feel GUILT, your inner dialogue might be something like, "Gosh, I need to get back on track.  I know I can do better than this.  I am better than this.  I don't even feel good when I eat like crap.  Come on!  I gotta get my butt in gear.  I know if I exercise and eat right, I will feel better."

SEE THE DIFFERENCE?  The trick is to REALIZE that YOU ARE WORTH IT.  SHAME is way more DESTRUCTIVE than GUILT.  GUILT can actually beCONSTRUCTIVE and USEFUL.  Guilt can be a CATALYST FOR CHANGE.  

SHAME just makes you spiral.  Shame is TIED TO SELF-WORTH, and the first step in MOVING FROM SHAME to GUILT is TALKING POSITIVELY to YOURSELF.  

Recognize that your actions DO NOT ALWAYS DEFINE YOU.  What DEFINES YOU is WHERE YOU ARE GOING and WHO YOU CHOOSE TO BE.

I'll close with this example.  A mother says to her daughter who has been doing arts and crafts, "Honey, you're so messy."  And her daughter responds, "I'm not messy.  I might have made a mess, but I am not messy."  Food for thought :)  

How we talk to ourselves is powerful.  How we talk to our children and those we love is too.  I'm sending you lots of positive vibes and hugs today.  I BELIEVE IN YOU.  YOU WERE MADE FOR AMAZING THINGS.  Go out there and BE GREAT!

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3 comments:

  1. Thank you for that extra motivation! I jumpstarted my fitness journey by going on a 3 Day Military diet. Some may frown but the diet worked since it was short-term and for me, the no-sugar selection in the diet detoxed me as well. I always have a sweet tooth and managing it was like managing a beast, LOL! I'm glad to have lost 7 pounds and I'm continuing with what I've learned - counting calories, being aware of what I'm eating, practicing portion control and yes, exercising. For more info on the diet here's a link http://3daysmilitarydiet.com/faq/eggs-in-military-diet.html

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