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Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.

Lance Armstrong.

Quitting is the easiest thing to do.

Robert Kiyosaki

Even with the little life experience under my belt, I have given up on my health and many other things, more times than I can comfortably admit.

In just the last one year, I would have given up going to the gym, more than four times. With a rough estimate, I would say that I have stopped going to the gym a good 2 dozen times over the years.

Ever since my second knee surgery, I had given up on my Rehab exercises a good 4-5 times. I still limp, I cannot extend my leg without pain and I cannot run or climb stairs as efficiently as I want to. Yet, I am still not willing to do my rehab exercises.

I love it when someone calls me the biryani guy, but to be honest, I’m the fitpro who cannot do his own rehab or stick to his workout sessions.

I like to tell myself that I have ADD to save face, but we know the truth.

I can’t stop feeling that it is not right for me to talk about fitness stuff when I’m unable to do something about my own life. The ‘who am I to talk about this?’ question looms over my head, but I feel that this has given me amazing insights about what normal people go through.

 

I’m certain that like me, you have been shamed for not being able to do something so simple and for looking the way you do. I’m here to tell you that if you have ever given up on losing weight or gaining muscle, it was not your fault!

It was your programs fault and your coach’s fault for putting you on that program you couldn’t stick to.

I’m guilty of shaming the one’s close to me too, but I know better now. I have learnt my lesson:

Shaming somebody for looking a certain way makes them feel uncomfortable, hurts emotionally and ruins friendships.

And I want to drive this point as many times as it takes for you to accept it:

If you have ever given up on anything, it is not your fault! The world may tell you that you are not good enough and you are a loser for giving up, but it’s not your fault!

Shaming and making somebody feel bad about themselves, seems to be the default mantra of a lot of fitness motivational gooroos, but it has the opposite of the intended effect.

“Gill Woodall and colleagues became interested in the effect of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel (VIP), in which DWI offenders are required to attend a public presentation by people whose lives have been devastated by drunk drivers. Judges agreed to assign offenders randomly to attend or not attend the VIP in addition to the usual sanctions (Woodall, Delaney, Rogers, & Wheeler, 2000). Interviewed as they were leaving the VIP, the offenders felt terrible about themselves—they felt embarrassed, ashamed of what they had done, humiliated, and guilty. When recidivism rates were examined, first offenders who attended the VIP were just as likely to be arrested again as those who did not. For people with one or more prior offenses, however, those who attended the VIP were actually more likely to repeat the offense! Lesson: Making people feel terrible doesn’t help them to change.” – Dr. William Miller, Motivational Interviewing.

And, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are about to shame somebody for looking a certain way, I request you to pause and ask yourself if you want them to go down the path which takes ages to recover from.


I want to thank Josh Hillis, for sharing his personal story about a coach who constantly shamed him when I told him about my knee and Virendran Sajjan, for reminding that if a client misses their plan, it is not the client’s but the coach’s fault. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to write this article. 🙂