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What are you willing to let others see?

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

I was listening to a song this morning on U-Tube. One I've listened to quite a lot lately, but I heard a line today that I had previously missed. "What are you willing to let others see?" Wow. That one hit pretty close to home.

When I joined Sparks 8 months ago and began Stage 1 of 4 of their program to help me get started on this journey, I was apprehensive to say the least. They were asking me to do things right off the bat that I was uncomfortable with...starting with putting my weight loss goal on a little ticker. Oh, my, gosh!!! I didn't even want to weigh myself much less put it out there for the whole community to see. What would people think of me? Well, as it turned out, I got no negative responses. Heard no gasps. Didn't die of embarrassment. Actually, I felt kind of good.

Next, they urge you to put your picture on your SparkPage. I really fought this one because no one would knew that I had a disability. I would be anonymous. I'm not ashamed of my disability. A disability does not make you disabled. I kept promising to get this done. It was an April goal. I was so glad when I had computer problems so I didn't have to do it. Finally in June, I got my picture posted with me on my walker. Once again, I only received positive comments. Once again I felt a little lighter.

The third big thing...body measurements. I had not taken them for years and didn't want to take them now. I happened to join the last Spark's Boot Camp. One of the things they asked you to do was take your beginning measurements. I bit the bullet and posted them on my page for the world to see. Again, I didn't die. Most of the comments were from people who had mustered up the courage to post their own measurements. Hmmmm! Very surprising and humbling. Again, I didn't die from embarrassment and only wish that I had taken them in the very beginning. Strangely enough I again felt lighter. I'm beginning to think these Spark people might be on to something. I've now completed all 4 Stages so you think things would get easier...not.

Now, the last thing I've done still has me in shock. Never in a million years would I have thought I would do this one. Again, I was beginning another challenge that asked that you take a "before" picture. They even gave you points for doing it. My competitive side was a little bit intrigued, but it was some brave ladies who did it before me that gave me the courage to bite the proverbial bullet. I donned my spandex workout outfit that I have had since 1996 and got ready for my photo-op. Front, back and side views. What in the world was I thinking. I posted them and much to my relief. I was happy I did it. Now it's all out there. I again prepared for the comments. They were all good, encouraging and supportive. Because I did it others followed suit. I was so much lighter.

When I comment to people in the Community, especially new comers, I encourage them to become as transparent to their team mates as they possible can. Carrying around all those little secrets like weight, measurements, pictures, whatever it may be will hold you back from achieving your goals. That "stuff" you're carrying around is very heavy.

I won't lie to you by telling you that each layer you peel off may be painfully excruciating at that moment in time because it is. But I will follow it up with telling, no promising you, that you will feel so much lighter after each layer comes off. No one will laugh. Some may cry tears of joy for your bravery. Many will encourage and support you. But most of all I can't tell you how happy you will make yourself feel.

The awesome thing is that you have not only helped yourself, but you may never know how many people you have helped take a much needed step in their journey to get healthy. So, come on. Are you ready to begin the peel?

What are you willing to let others see?


Beginning weight: 202
Current weight: 173.2
Down 28.8
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD3598327
    Wow! What a positive message! It really gives me something to think about and consider! Thank you Pam! emoticon
    4126 days ago
  • KV711LAW

    Great Blog Friend!

    Thank-You for sharing your journey here!

    Hugs, kelli
    4249 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4872155
    that's put me in my place!

    i have a wee-me picture and my ticker shows my loss, not my weight... I did post a 'before' photo ( a long time 'after'!!)

    i will let this run over and over through my mind today and maybe do something about it tomorrow..!
    4266 days ago
  • PATRICIA3321
    thank you emoticon
    4268 days ago
    Great post, thanks for sharing!
    4268 days ago
    Huh - you really got me thinking! Thank you!
    4269 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I'm quite apprehensive about it, too. Funnily enough, I had no trouble putting my weight up for everyone to see. However, I've not been brave enough to reveal my face yet, but hopefully I will in time. It's good to know that everyone is so positive here, and that only good feedback is shared.
    4270 days ago
    Thank you,friend! I,too,have shared things like my weight and measurements,that I thought I never would!
    And it is freeing!
    4271 days ago
    Wow. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    4271 days ago
  • DRJJ2004
    Way to go!! Proud of you...for peeling! :O)
    4271 days ago
  • BITSY0516
    Thanks for sharing! :-)
    4271 days ago
    Thanks for sharing
    4271 days ago
    LOL, I too an thankful that I am unable to transfer the pics from my camera to the computer. I have forced myself, over the last month to do the other steps though. Thank you for telling me I'm not alone on this one. emoticon
    4272 days ago
    Right on - you have so captured and display the spirit of SparkPeople!!

    I know myself that admitting that I maintained GW for a year and then regained is AWFULLY hard to reveal.

    And I'm mighty impressed to see that you follow YouTube - that's pretty with it.
    4272 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3990357
    Excellent! I am not as brave as you no picture of me on my website! I even changed my spark name when someone said if you put your name in google your page would pop up! I envisioned my mom saying " So and so called and said ......." It's funny that at my age that would still make me uncomfortable!
    4273 days ago
    OMG... I loved your insight!
    4273 days ago
    Good stuff!! emoticon
    4273 days ago
  • LINDA6105
    Thank you for sharing.
    4273 days ago
    I can totally relate to your blog. I came across Spark People in January. I made a spark page (with NO pictures of course). After restarting my commitment in July I can happily say that I posted my photos too. I also was completely honest about my beginning weight and measurements (unlike my driver's license info).... And yes, this community is totally supportive!
    4273 days ago
  • MIS2101
    That is inspiring for sure!!!
    4273 days ago
    I have always found that if I am an open book and I tell people whats going on before they can make assumptions or judgments- they have more compassion and understanding. We all appreciate the bravery in being transparent and wish we were more often.

    Thank you for being open and allowing yourself to be used in such a positive way
    4273 days ago
  • CASPER61
    You are the greatest
    4273 days ago
  • T42AND24T
    I loved this - what a pick-me-up for a Monday. I actually WOULD have the courage now to post my picture, but I actually don't know how to get a picture from my files over to SP. Technopeasant!

    4273 days ago
  • VALPO1997
    As humans we hide so much of ourselves it is truly comical because we feel we are not perfect. But surprisingly when we do share what we thought would be shameful or ridiculed was only holding our own selves back.

    Have you asked the question how are you holding yourself back? Is it due to pride? Is it due to other silliness? Is it your own hang up or was it mean/hurtful things said or done to you?

    Life teaches you what you need strangely to be successful in your own way. Learn the lessons and share your knowledge.

    Shine on and live life with no regrets. You get but one chance in this life and unfortunately there are no do overs. There are things that scare us because it pushes our limits, but once we conquer our own fears it will be good!

    Fear is good, but keep it in check and live the life you wish.
    4273 days ago
    You are so special! I wish I was as brave as you.....so very much baggage from the past, more from the abusive relationship than the physical, but some of both. emoticon
    4275 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4592528
    Great insight - we so love to hide! As if we could hide the truth from ourselves if we hide it from others -- or even make it NOT true if we hide it ... Being real & transparent is a good thing, and I love your comment that it helps others as much as it helps us (often we're more willing to do something for others - as if we're not worth helping ourselves!). Thanks for sharing -- and keep up the good work!
    4278 days ago
    I LOVED this blog! And, I just emoticon emoticon emoticon YOU! You are an amazing woman, with so much insight and kindness! You always know just what to say...and today, your blog really spoke to me! I thought about skipping weigh in today- but you are right- it only holds me back. Later today...you'll see photos and measurements on my page, too! I will want to look back on these photos in the future- to see how far I have come. And, I will have you to thank- because you have been so supportive and wonderful!!

    9:30 pm- I didn't forget! I ran out of time today! The photos are coming- I'll let you know when they are posted!
    4280 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/24/2009 10:30:50 PM
    You are my sunshine today!

    Thank you so much for writing about what I've been feeling. I've put up all my numbers for the world to see because I own them and I have to face them. It's so much nicer to face them with a community like this where everyone is so encouraging and the numbers are just battle scars.

    Thank you for being my ray of sunshine today!

    4283 days ago
    Pam I have said this many times and its so true, you are an inspiration to everyone you has gotten to know you. Your willingness to be open, try new things is just amazing. I hope one day we can meet. If I remember, you have sister(s) who live in Garland. That is where Andrea also lives. Wouldn't it be great if we could all meet there? Have a great day.
    4283 days ago
    4283 days ago
  • WALNUT5612
    It is good to be transparent!!!
    4284 days ago
    Beautiful blog! I want to send it to lots of people!!!

    ...and what's the title of the song??? by who???


    Mary> emoticon

    4284 days ago
    You really hit the nail on the head. It seems the peeling of layers also exposes your vulnerabilities. Hmm, maybe the lesson is the quicker we expose our true selves the sooner we start healing our selves.

    Nice post
    4284 days ago
  • BJENKINS1014
    I love it, Pam! So true about peeling the layers, starting with the true weight. I don't know if my driver's license will ever show my true weight, but here it is on SP for the world to see.
    I haven't done the front, back, and side spandex views yet. I wouldn't mind posting them, but I don't want someone else to take the pictures.
    Thanks for this blog. You are such an inspiration!
    4284 days ago
    As always, very eloquently put!!! You not only have a gift for encouragement, but a gift for making others feel at ease, you are a blessing and an inspiration!!!
    4284 days ago
    this post really hit home. i recently had the courage to post my before pics on my website in a bikini! first i should tell you that i have NEVER worn a bikini, even when i was at a good weight, so this was the first huge step. but i have started a program which all the participants before pics were in a bikini, so i took large gulp and asked hubby to take the pics!
    man, it has been liberating and also strongly motivating. way to go for us!!!
    good post, wendy
    4284 days ago
    You are so right! I am still taking baby steps on some things but I have learned to be more open and honest with what I have to say and it sure feels good!
    4284 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114604
    emoticon your words are so true.....i never thought in a million years to put my true weight on something..lol..we all know the drivers license NEVER shows one's true weight..i know mine hasn't in a kazillion years!! But here on Spark i let it all "hang out" so to speak...and it is a good thing..because i know i am on a Journey to a better..healthier and slimmer me!! Thank you Pam for posting this great Blog!! emoticon emoticon
    4284 days ago
  • ANDREA0301
    Disabled my eye! This woman is racing me to 100K steps and WINNING! =)

    Once again my Sister-Friend, you said it best. No matter who you are, no matter how much you tell youself and others that you have nothing to offer, someone is in the same boat and WILL be inspired by your story. Put it out there. Good things will surely follow.

    Love you!
    4284 days ago
    Great blog, Pam! You are so right about it being very scary sometimes. I know I've sure felt that fear, but I hadn't really thought about the feeling lighter side of it. hmmm... I'll have to think on that one.
    4284 days ago
    Greatly enjoyed your blog. It home! All you said is so true. Thanks for reminding me that I am not the only one who has these fears. You gave me a boost that I so much needed.
    Thank you and God bless!
    4284 days ago
  • IXLR8409
    Pam what an amazing story...You brought tears of joy to my eyes and I want to congratulate you on taking that first step on becoming a better you. I am certain this story will encourage other to do the same thing. Me included! Again, thank you for the inspiration...
    4284 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.